The Fragile Beauty of Ceramic Sea Turtles: A Call to Arms for Ocean Conservation

The installation art exhibit, featuring 1,001 unique ceramic turtles, serves as a powerful and creative plea for collaboration in conserving our marine environment and its biodiversity. Each turtle, with its own distinct character, symbolizes the urgent need to unite and protect our oceans and the diverse life they sustain. This artistic display aims to inspire and motivate viewers to take action, highlighting the importance of collective efforts in preserving the delicate balance of our marine ecosystems.


The immersive Phieu (Flow/Feeling) art exhibition, featuring installations by the talented artist Cao Thanh Tha, commenced on June 15. This captivating showcase centers on the journey of sea turtles, from their birth and struggle for survival to adulthood, and their eventual return to their birthplace to lay eggs and perpetuate new life.

Marking World Sea Turtle Day on June 16, the exhibition is designed to raise awareness about marine biodiversity and the critical importance of turtle conservation. It is presented with expert backing from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Vietnam and the Born to be Wild initiative, reflecting a shared commitment to protecting our ocean’s wonders.

Artist Cao Thanh Tha, whose passion and creativity shine through in this exhibition. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

The exhibition left visitors in awe of the stunning and unique display of 1,001 handcrafted ceramic sea turtles, each a testament to the artist’s dedication and skill.

These intricate works are artfully arranged across six installations, each with its own distinct theme: Beautiful Ocean, Real Space, Future, Ocean Current, Undercurrent, and Return. Each installation offers a glimpse into the world of sea turtles, their challenges, and their remarkable resilience.

Beyond the visual spectacle, the exhibition invites interaction and engagement. Visitors can add their signatures to a giant turtle egg, symbolically pledging their support for sea turtle conservation through the “Save the Seal” activity. Additionally, hands-on activities such as painting, reading, and educational sessions about sea turtles and the ocean provide a well-rounded experience for attendees.

Visitors captivated by the one-of-a-kind artworks on display.

For sculptor Cao Thanh Tha, the exhibition holds a deep personal significance. It was born out of her firsthand experience spending 12 days and nights dedicated to the rescue and conservation of sea turtles on Con Dao Island, in collaboration with IUCN Vietnam. This transformative journey inspired her to use her artistic voice to highlight the importance of protecting these majestic creatures and their marine environment.

Artist Thanh Tha shared, “This exhibition is a celebration of creative sculpture, but it’s also a platform for me to emphasize the role of creativity and art in our daily lives. It’s about raising awareness and encouraging respect for nature, wildlife, and the biodiversity that surrounds us. It’s a call to embrace freedom, independence, and the unique differences that make up the fabric of our society.”

Sea turtles, with their long lives and vast ocean journeys, face immense challenges. They return to their birth beaches after decades to lay their eggs, with females capable of laying hundreds of eggs in a single season. Yet, the survival rate for hatchlings is low, and natural obstacles are compounded by human-induced threats, including bycatch, illegal trade and consumption, and the looming specter of climate change.

The exhibition’s theme, reflected in the number 1,001, symbolizes both the odds stacked against these creatures and the hope that persists. It represents 1,000 baby sea turtles and that one adult female who returns to her birthplace to continue the cycle of life.

Don’t miss this extraordinary exhibition, open until June 19 at 93 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Immerse yourself in the world of sea turtles and be inspired by the power of art to spark change.

Each ceramic sea turtle is a labor of love, meticulously handcrafted.
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