The Ocean Imagineer is a floating art and science work. The outside appearance is an artwork that raises awareness about the fragility and importance of oyster reefs in Hong Kong. On the roof solar panels power a hydrogen generator that is the clean energy of the future; underwater, millions of oyster larvae are being produced to improve water quality. More than half a century ago, North Point’s waterfront was a popular destination for families to enjoy swimming. The water was clean and thriving with marine life. Once the area was reclaimed and industrialized, this changed. Today, however, the idea of diving into North Point’s polluted waters for a swim may seem crazy to most people. If we ever want the water to be clean again, we need to restore biodiversity and learn to live with other species sustainably. As Hong Kong transitions into a post-industrial society, can we imagine ways to help recreate the conditions needed to sustain a vibrant marine ecosystem?
Imagine this: It’s a sunny morning in September 2021; you are walking along the water of the North Point Promenade visiting the “Via North Point” art exhibition. You see an organic shape floating on the water, the “Ocean Imagineer”. It looks like a giant oyster, the size of a small yacht! Its irregular shell contrasts with the delicate mother of pearl iridescent interior. You take a few steps down from the pier, get on a small boat and step onboard. You discover a busy biological research and fabrication laboratory inside. Transparent tubes bubbling with thousands of oyster larvae destined to repopulate Hong Kong waters; electronic technology with flashing lights and busy wiring and young people in lab coats introducing young children and North Point residents to their marine microscopic neighbors. You learn that the platform is used to deploy marine robots, the rooftop is covered with solar panels and that part of the electricity is dedicated to producing hydrogen: the clean energy of the future in stainless steel tanks. You are experiencing the timeless sensation of what the life of an oyster might feel like and the excitement of taking part in building the future: the creative integration of biology and advanced technology.
The “Ocean Imagineer” is a floating art and science educational installation exploring the following questions:
- #Biodiversity & Water Quality: Which marine species can best clean Hong Kong waters?
- #Renewable Energy: How much solar and hydrogen energy can we produce?
- #Design Research: How can the Ocean Imagineer benefit the local community by leveraging innovative IoT, blockchain, and AI technologies?
Team & Partners
- Artist Researcher Lead: Cesar Jung-Harada https://cesarjungharada.com/
- Design Research: Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Prof Gilles Garel, Prof Pierre Levy. Hong Kong Design Trust (for CoralBot on board). Thanks to Dr Etienne Gernez
- Textile art: Kay Wong: https://www.thegreenartivist.com
- Funding: The Urban Renewal Fund: https://urfund.org.hk/en/
- Curation: Via North Point, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Ian Leung, Maria Mo, https://hkac.org.hk/
- Production: MakerBay Foundation, https://makerbay.net/
- Biology: The Swire Institute of Marine Science, HKU (https://www.swims.hku.hk), Prof Vengatesen Thiyagarajan (Rajan), Prof Bayden Russell, The Nature Conservancy Marine Thomas, Ginger Ko, Tom Chan, archiREEF Vriko Yu, Lau Fau Shan oyster farming community, Hong Kong Aquaculture (Sai Kung), Jasimran Dhaliwal
- IoT, Environmental Sensor, Citizen Science: Seeed Studio, Safecast, Airnote by Blues Wireless, HK City University, School of Creative Media (SCM) Prof Alvaro Cassinelli, Prof Can Liu.
- Blockchain: Amber Initiative (Pamela Pascual), Oasis Labs
- Education & History: Hong Kong Maritime Museum, MakerBay Foundation
- Media: The Green Queen, https://www.greenqueen.com.hk/
- Social & Environmental Impact: Synergy Social Ventures, Youth Ocean Alliance
- Big thanks to all the volunteers, interns who made this project possible. More credits on the website.
Original file here (that you can download in full resolution)
Share on Social Media