TAIPEI, Taiwan - A trio of students from National Taiwan University of Arts have made popsicles with dirty water to draw public attention to problems with Taiwan's water sources.
Their video, "Polluted Water Popsicles", went viral on social media after it was posted Tuesday, with 1,559,100 views on its Facebook page as of Friday evening.
Over the course of a year, three students majoring in visual communications - Guo Yi-hui, Hong Yi-chen and Cheng Yu-ti - travelled to 100 spots in Taiwan to collect water for their graduation project.
In their project, the 100 popsicles made with the water are ranked in order from dirtiest to cleanest.
The worst-ranked popsicle is made with water from Keelung Harbor. Students said that water from the harbour had coated their water bottle with oil and grease.
By contrast, they said, water samples from Taitung and other parts of Eastern Taiwan were much cleaner.
Guo told The China Post that they originally planned to freeze the polluted water into popsicles, but realised it would be too tough to keep them from melting at the exhibition. So they encased the water samples in polymolds instead.
"We hoped to use the contrast and conflict between the pretty popsicle wrapper and the polluted water inside to let the society understand the importance of clean water resources," Guo said.
The wrapper of each polymold popsicle are carefully wrought and beautifully detailed.
"We designed wrappers using colorful geometric shapes that represent the polluted particles in the popsicle inside," Guo said.
Asked which Taiwan water source had left the deepest impression on them, the three named a park in Sanchong, where they collected a sample for popsicle No. 5.
The water they collected was teeming with apple snails, which farmers consider pests because of their rice grain-munching tendencies.
The students said that after creating a popsicle out of the water retrieved from Sanchong Park, they would present it to people, who would exclaim at how pretty and edible it looked.
Their enthusiasm would dampen quite a bit upon finding out that the popsicle's pink "berries" were in fact apple snails, the students said.
Guo said that water for popsicle No. 7 was collected from a stream near their school in Banqiao, New Taipei City, which by her description was "extremely stinky."
The trio, along many other students from universities in Taiwan, are showcasing their projects at the 2017 Young Designers' Exhibition in Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1, which runs to Monday.