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An Exhibition of Eduardo Leal – Plastic Trees

Rui Cunha Foundation Gallery

From Jun.11 to Jun.24.2019 – 18:30

The world consumes 1 million every minute, it was consider by Guinness World Book of Records as “the most ubiquitous consumer item in the world”, but the all useful plastic bag as become the main source of pollution worldwide. It can be found everywhere on the planet from seaside, the bottom of the ocean, the arctic and even at the top of the world, on Mount Everest. Since most of the plastic isn’t biodegradable and it is a durable material it can last for hundreds of years in the environment.

The problem is even more acute in developing countries where waste management infrastructures are not really developed and where the population used to throw everything away, was not educated to the long life of this material. This accumulation of plastic bags on the environment cause deterioration of the landscapes, agriculture soils and it is associated to the death of domestic and wild animals.

Plastic Trees series was made to call for the attention on this problem, focusing on the spreading of the plastic bags on the Bolivian Altiplano, where millions of bags travel with the wind until they got entangled in native bushes, damaging the beautiful landscapes.

Sadly these images don’t portray an isolated case, they can be seen in many countries all over the world.


Plastic Trees series was recognized with several awards such as the Sony World Photo Awards, Estação Imagem (Portuguese Photojournalism Awards), Lens Culture Earth Award, Moscow International Photo Awards and it was a finalist at the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year.

The project has been exhibit at the Somerset House and the Royal Geographic Society in London; at Kunst Haus Galley in Vienna, Austria; at the Natuur Fryslân Museum in Holland and on a travelling exhibition in Portugal part of the Estação Imagem program.

Eduardo Leal

Eduardo Leal is a Portuguese documentary photographer, currently based in Macau. For several years he worked in South America for publications such as The Washington Post, Time, Al Jazeera America, CNN, Bloomberg, The Guardian, Dagens Nyheter, Terra Mater Magazine, among others.

Graduated in Journalism at Escola Superior de Jornalismo in Porto, Portugal, has a Masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London College of Communication and attended the XXVIII Eddie Adams Workshop in New York.

Eduardo was a consultant to The Arpad A. Busson Foundation in London. He was responsible for the “Cuban in Revolution” photography collection, being part of the curatorial team for the exhibitions at International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, and at the Garage CCC in Moscow; and part of the editorial and design team on “Cuba in Revolution” book, published by Hatje Cantz.
Since 2016, he is a visiting professor at the University of Saint Joseph in Macau, China.