The underwater world consists of diverse marine life, including colorful seaweed. With modern technology, the Institute of Oceanography has created the Vietnam's largest collection of seaweed art...
The underwater world consists of diverse marine life, including colorful seaweed. With modern technology, the Institute of Oceanography has created the Vietnam’s largest collection of seaweed art.
Impressive ocean art collection
At the newly-built Biodiversity Exhibition of the Institute of Oceanography, visitors have a chance to see a collection of "Ocean colors" including 70 works of art, introducing specimens of 3 types of red, green and brown seaweed. The arrangement and display make visitors feel like being in the gallery of art paintings.
The art work of a red lionfish (160 x 60cm) made of various types of seaweed is placed in the middle, attracting everyone's attention. Besides, a vivid vertical painting, 160cm high, 60cm wide, is made from 35 species of lesser-known seaweed.
Tran Dai La, a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City surprisingly said, “I could not imagine such beautiful and vivid seaweed art. The collection shows the diversity of coastal seaweed in Vietnam."
According to PhD. Nguyen Xuan Vy, Chief of the Department of Marine Plants, Institute of Oceanography, nearly 850 species of seaweed have been identified in Vietnam. Most of it is kept in the Marine Plant Room in strict conditions of humidity, temperatures and light, making it hard for visitors to contemplate the natural beauty. Therefore, Marine Plant staff have researched many ways for the effective display of seaweed specimens with the desire for all visitors to explore the magnificence of the underwater world.
After several attempts, the department's staff have found optimal techniques based on the transparency of specialized glue to ensure the seaweed keeps its beautiful natural colors in combination with the white light produced by LEDs on a dark background.
Meticulousness and patience required
In early 2022, the department was assigned to create a collection of seaweed art for exhibition on the occasion of 100th foundation anniversary of the Institute of Oceanography. According to Master Nguyen Nhat Nhu Thuy, besides knowledge and skills, to create the art work, they must be meticulous, patient, hard-working and especially with an artistic eye to get this right in a pleasing shape.
To create the best work of art made of seaweed, they arranged it with imagination based on the shape of each species to show the most of the natural beauty. They believed when putting their heart into the work, they would be able to breathe life into art. Happily, they have received positive feedback from visitors.
It took them nearly 2 months to finish the lionfish art work made of dozens of types of colorful seaweed. The seaweed was trimmed into thousands of small pieces to match every detail of the art work.
“To create the 3D effect, we had to cast on 5 layers of glue. Due to the large size of the art work, in order for the glue to dry in time within a day time, we started work from 6am until 7pm; and several careful procedures were taken to ensure the best quality," added Nguyen Nhat Nhu Thuy.
In order to create such a collection of colorful seaweed, staff of the Department of Marine Plants have made many survey trips to several sea waters. Sometimes, they had to dive at a depth of 25m to reach some types of seaweed, especially reddish seaweed and some extremely rare species. Thanks to the hard work, a unique collection of "Ocean colors" has been successfully created to introduce visitors the diversity of seaweed.
Translated by N.T