The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall will play host to an environmental art exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of World Oceans Day. Visit "Fishwear: Vibrant Ocean Art" between June 28 and Oct. 30 for a variety of large-scale art and models of marine life, small-scale wall paintings of fish specimens, and underwater photography.
Home to a rice marine ecosystem that accounts for around 10% of all global marine species, Taiwan is located at the junction of the west side of the Pacific Ocean and the Asiatic continental plate. People here are considered "children of the ocean," yet the pursuit of rapid economic growth have led to unlimited fishing and consumption, discharge of pollutants, and destruction of the natural ecological balance.
As mounting incidents of stranding, overfishing, and ingestion of discarded plastics have decimated marine diversity and populations, many species may soon be relegated to a mere memory of dishes once served. The Taiwan Ocean Artistic Museum is now creating silicon molds via a long process of immersion treatment, humidity control, fiberglass reinforcement, and detailed painting to preserve nativist and rare species.
Artists were also invited to cast Taiwanese imagery upon these marine animal and fish models, giving rise to the liberal use of flag colors, Hakka patterns, temple parade art, ink wash and calligraphy, and imagery associated with traditional festivals. A set of underwater photography by Ray Chin (金磊) will also take visitors on an imaginary journey with cetaceans through the underwater world.
Calling attention to the serious ecological catastrophe facing the ocean that has nurtured Taiwan over the centuries, "Fishwear" is a renewed understanding and imagination of the seas from the perspective of a grateful marine nation.
The free exhibition runs through Oct. 30 in Taipei. Visit oceanart.cksmh.gov.tw for further information.