Photo from The New York Times
Explore an art exhibit through the eyes of a sea creature, submerged in numerous habitats filled with abstract settings of a futuristic aquatic biome. The Ocean Cube team, consisting of members like Randy Fernado, Carol Zhang, and founder and artist, Kun Wu, has created a way to shed light on the beauties under the sea and the potential it has, while also highlighting the dangers that threaten it.
The exhibition begins with the dimly lit “Coral Tunnel” filled with reflective glass hanging from the ceiling. The area is comprised of dark blues and purples with hints of red and pink. The hanging glass and dark colors represent an organism’s journey navigating through these corals as they pass shallow waters and into the deeper areas.
Next, the path leads to a small, hot pink room titled the “Net Guard” with narrow, heavy strings and lights dangling from every inch of the exhibit. This particular part of the adventure symbolizes the shiny buoys that attract sea life into fishermen’s nets. The “Net Guard’ explains the issue today of overfishing, which threatens the aquatic food chain, and could lead to much bigger impacts.
Ocean Cube then guides us to the “Jellyfish Station.” Calming blue hues fill the room around a sculpture of a whale comprised of lights, along with multiple paper mache jellyfish hanging from the ceiling. According to the creators, this is a potential mode of transportation for when the ocean becomes habitable.
The “Bubble Mall,” a yellow room with a great deal of space, contains nothing but numerous clumps of plastic balls ranging in size. The yellow and orange color of the walls creates a sense of excitement in the space, partnered with the busyness of the hanging bubbles. This room is showing an idea for a shopping center, where every bubble can be seen as a store where customers can buy goods of all kinds. The “Bubble Mall” embodies a shopping centre for fish, representing the habitats where fish get their food, shelter, and protection.
The last room Ocean Cube features is “Recycling Bank.” Short for the Recycling Bank of Memory, this room not only symbolizes the massive amount of waste we put into our environment every day but a place to put bad memories. The room contains a thousand different plastic bottles hanging from the ceiling and allows you to exchange your bad memories for something more valuable. The creators want to encourage Ocean Cube’s visitors to write down your nightmares and only remember life without polluted land.
Ocean Cube made sure all the materials they used in the process were recycled and reused, such as designing the lobby to impact the Earth as little as possible. The storage shelves guests are invited to put their belongings in as they go through this magical world were found on the street. Ocean Cube says they are “planning to either sell or donate all the installations after the show is over, to minimize throwing waste back our environment” (oceancubenyc.com).
Ocean Cube is opened to the public 7 days a week from 10 am to 8 pm until October 23rd. The exhibit is on 60 Grand Street and can be easily accessed by taking the subway to Canal Street. You can find Ocean Cube on Instagram and Facebook at @nycoceancube, or their website nycoceancube.com. Ticket prices range from $14 for children 2 through 12 years old, $18 for High School and College students by just presenting your student ID, and $24 for a General Admission ticket. You can buy the tickets online through their website.