By Hareen Johl
Coca Cola is the world’s most popular beverage and has phenomenal global branding power. However, of all the artists who have used Coca Cola as a subject in their work, He Xiangyu is the first to bypass the red and white branding and focus purely on the product itself. With the help of ten factory workers in his home town of Kuandian, China, over a period of one year the 26 year old contemporary artist boiled down 127 tons of Coca Cola until it morphed into a toxic tar-like sludge and, eventually, a resin resembling coal or gravel. Although the exhibition was unable to be called ‘The Coca Cola Project’, due to trademark laws, no other brand of cola was used.