The late Pablo Picasso once said that “we all know that art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realise truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand.” It’s the same ethos Vicky Hwang (below), managing director for the Parkview Group in Singapore, applies to On Sharks and Humanity, a fantastical travelling art exhibition that will reach our country’s shores on March 2017.

“Art appeals to the heart, art brings about emotions in ways that words cannot, art crosses all language barriers. More importantly, art brings people together,” explained Hwang.

“What started out as two sculptures and two paintings soon grew to 29 artworks by 26 artists. In 2014 the exhibition was seen by 500,000 visitors at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, then it moved to Moscow in 2015, then onto the National Museum of China in Beijing where it looked to make an impact in raising awareness and inspiring change for the country credited as the number one consumer of sharks fin.”

‘Swimming’ sculpture by Zou Liang

The exhibition hopes to shed light on the scourge of illegal shark fishing and to encourage today’s generation to refrain from eating shark fin soup. While the movement has been gathering steam in the past few years, thanks to the efforts of numerous environmental advocates, Hwang believes more can and should be done.

Humans have a tendency to only initiate corrective action when it’s far too late. Cases in point: irreversible climate change and animal extinction. The shark is an apex predator and a keystone species, and its extinction will result in a collapse of the oceanic world and the complete loss of many other marine animals further down the food chain.

“Some of the works show the beauty and grace of sharks, in an attempt to awaken the viewer’s sense of aesthetic appreciation, while others show the barbarity of shark slaughter in an effort to stir the public’s sympathy. All have the common goal of promoting activism on the behalf of sharks,” Hwang said.

‘The Butterfly In Love With The Flower’ by Zheng Lu

On Sharks and Humanity is the first of many educational exhibitions and programmes that will be organised by Parkview Arts Action, under Parkview Group. Its new museum at Parkview Square will play host to these future shows. Good news: it will be open for free to the public in order to achieve “the twofold goal of involving the local community and to have an educational role by strengthening their appreciation and understanding of contemporary art”.

On Sharks and Humanity will be presented from March 2017 at Parkview Museum. Admission is free.

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