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Art installation for sea turtle conservation 

 Tuesday, June 18,2024

AsemconnectVietnam -  An art installation has been creating documenting the journey of sea turtles from birth to their return to lay eggs.

The exhibition named Phieu (Drifting) features 1001 ceramic sea turtles handcrafted by artist Cao Thanh Tha.

To mark World Sea Turtle Day on June 16, the exhibition is being held with the professional sponsor of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The works are displayed in six art installations, including "Beautiful Ocean - Real Space - Future", "Ocean Current", "Undercurrent", "Dawn - Twilight - Night", and "Return" as well as engaging activities. These installations describe the sea turtles' remarkable journey from birth, beginning their days of drifting along the currents and floating on the open sea, until their return to their birthplace.

From 2014 up to now, IUCN has organised volunteer programs to protect sea turtles in Con Dao National Parks, then expanded to other destinations such as Nui Chua National Park and Hon Cau Marine Reserve.

Volunteers assist rangers in the rescue and conservation work, especially during the time sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs.

The programme has been in operation for ten years.

As an installation artist, Tha has been associated with community art projects to protect the marine environment. Participating in the IUCN Volunteer Programme in 2018, Tha had the opportunity to directly engage in the rescue and conservation of sea turtles for 12 days and nights in Con Dao island.

These unique discoveries and experiences inspired Tha to create the art installation exhibition to contribute to the community efforts in sea turtle conservation, marine environment protection and biodiversity conservation for sustainable development.

Tha said: "According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the odds of baby turtles surviving to adulthood are 1 in 1,000. Therefore, at this exhibition, I select the number of 1001 turtles, creating 1,000 young turtles and only one female turtle.

"I want to raise public awareness about the characteristics and risk of extinction of sea turtles, thereby calling on everyone to join hands to protect this species, as well as the marine environment."

Phieu also conveys a message of respect for the natural, free, independent, and distinctive features of each person in the society.

"I also employ eco-friendly ceramic materials to create 1,001 unique ceramic turtles. The distinctive features of turtles are further conveyed by the fact that no two of these 1,001 turtles are alike in shape or colour," Tha said.

Bui Thi Thu Hien, Marine and Coastal Programme Coordinator of IUCN in Vietnam said: "I hope that through exhibitions and artistic activities, the public will readily access the knowledge and learn about sea turtles and the significance of efforts to conserve the marine environment and maintain biodiversity.

"Our goal is to spread awareness about the need to change environmental illiteracy."

Phieu also marks the first time Vietnam has had an art exhibition with a record number of 1,001 ceramic sea turtles.

Visitors can also read books about sea turtles, paint, and engage in clay sculpting and ceramic glazing as part of the display.

The exhibition runs until June 19./.

Source: VNA


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