Ocean Utopia

by Val

Foreword by Chad Scott

Coral reefs are one of the most diverse, productive and valuable ecosystems in the world, but also one of the most threatened. Over 90% of the corals in the Caribbean are already gone, and over 50% of the iconic Great Barrier Reef has already been lost. Despite the great importance of reefs to all marine life, and the multitude of human induced threats affecting these fragile ecosystems, public awareness on these issues is shockingly low.

For over 60 years, SCUBA divers and marine scientists have been calling for better protection and conservation of coral reefs, but without strong public sentiment this protection has not been realized. In order to achieve more widespread awareness about the threats facing coral reefs it is important that new mediums of expression are used to convey the message. Unique underwater art projects such as this one by Val are an attractive and impactful mechanism to get more widespread awareness to the general public, which can reach a more broad audience than scientific publications or articles. Visually stunning installations such as these structures reach to the public’s emotions, and inspires them to contemplate about the relationships between humans and coral reefs in a way that graphs and even photographs can never achieve.

This project will help to enrich the natural environment of Koh Tao by providing a substrate for coral growth and habitat for fishes and other marine organisms. The project will boost awareness and involvement amongst the local community in conservation projects, and add to the unique island culture and natural beauty of Koh Tao. Additionally, it will reduce the impact of SCUBA diving to coral reefs around the island by providing divers with an attractive alternative dive site. Lastly, and most importantly, this site will help to raise awareness and bring the message of coral reef conservation to the general public and audiences that normally would not be receptive to it.

Foreword by Frédéric Morel

I feel passionate with this project we have been having in mind with Val for the last few years. This is like a child dream come true and by itself the achievement of a utopia.

This project is the opportunity to create a unique international art experience for divers or snorkelers in Asia and to enhance the idea that Art becomes a useful act for the planet.

It is also about showing sculptures on a complete different scenery, discovering and watching them on a 3D approach and angles which could not be achieved on land.

Through this unique installation of one Val’s artwork underwater and including corals as one of the medium of the artwork, the idea is also to offer notoriety and coverage to the considerable work for the environment preservation that is achieved by the NHRCP and by all other conservationists and reef managers around the world.