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A Forest Underwater: Coral reefs

2023 July /

Samaji Campground, Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County

FIXL Eco Art Festival

The concepts inspiring this work of land art derive from oceanic corals. This piece reproduces the corals and marine scenery that can be seen around Xiaoliuqiu. It uses mixed media including metal wire and discarded industrial textiles, as well as plastic baskets, electric fan grills, and abandoned fishing nets. This coral landscape was created cooperatively by the artist along with

residents of Xiaoliuqiu.


Pantone colors were selected for these corals on the basis of the documentary Chasing Coral, released on Netflix in 2017. Three colors are presented from the “Glowing Glowing Gone” Pantone color series, including fluorescent yellow, fluorescent purple, and fluorescent blue. In the natural environment, when living corals display these remarkably eye-catching colors, it is in fact a warning that they are close to death. We hope that this installation will turn people’s attention toward climate change, and increase recognition that human activity affects the environment.


The documentary Chasing Coral records discoveries made by a group of scientists and underwater diving researchers. Specifically, this team discovered that before corals die and turn completely white, they give off bizarre fluorescent colors. This phenomenon is akin to the way in which people with high fevers turn bright red, as though sending out a distress signal.


Corals’ transformation into the fluorescent colors seen here accompanies the environmental pressures and biological destruction faced around all around the world, as climate change results in soaring temperatures.


Coral is acutely sensitive to the environment in which it grows. Changes in factors such as water temperature, acidity, and translucency all directly affect the symbiotic relationship shared by coral and zooxanthellae (microscopic marine invertebrates that live inside of healthy coral, giving them their color). 


When corals are impacted environmental pressures, the zooxanthellae living symbiotically within their structures gradually disperse, and in so doing take their vibrant colors with them. All that is left behind are corals’ white polyps and skeletal structures. This leads to the phenomenon of coral bleaching.


Before a piece of coral is completely bleached, portions of it will appear to take on fluorescent colors. This is a signal that the coral is barely hanging onto life. It is also our final warning that the global warming crisis is on the verge of causing coral reefs to completely disappear.


Year: 2023

Artists: Edith Tzu-Fen Lin, Pei-Yu Lin

Media: Discarded plastic baskets, discarded industrial textiles, discarded electric fan grills,

metal wire, recycled clothes hangers, fishing nets discarded at sea, bedsheets

Size: waves zone 1560*300 (cm), coral reefs zone 400*180*100(cm)

Sponser: Yee Chain International Co., Ltd.

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