Exploration meets education at S.E.A. Aquarium’s Ocean Fest

Ocean Fest by S.E.A. Aquarium (S.E.A.) at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) is back for its fifth edition. Themed Righting the Future, it is taking place from 20 May to 19 July.

With World Oceans Day round the corner, dive into a world of wonder and discovery at this year’s Ocean Fest, where exploration meets education and enthralment.

View a mesmerising underwater photography gallery that reveals the hidden treasures of Singapore’s aquatic realm, by global award-winning photographer Toh Xing Jie. Try your hand at an innovative arcade game too, ingeniously crafted from cardboard and repurposed rubbish by Paper Carpenter, a local team of cardboard carpentry experts.

Visitors can also look forward to a series of richly insightful talks by researchers about marine life, and a video wall that offers a glimpse into the local community’s dreams and cherished memories of the sea.

These fun activities and installations intertwine for a deeper purpose: to shine a light on the often overlooked and under-represented marine life, while inspiring visitors to respect marine life and ecosystems and advocate for their protection and conservation.

Nick Derbyshire, who leads the Education, Research and Conservation team said: “At S.E.A. Aquarium, we are focused on marine education, research and conservation, and one of our ambitions is to inspire a love for the ocean, and spur visitors to contribute to ocean protection and conservation. We invite all to come to Ocean Fest 2024 to explore the intricate tapestry of local marine life. As we rediscover the ocean’s story, let us unite in safeguarding its future for generations to come.”

While most think of Singaporean marine life as unexciting, the truth is that there are many amazing species found in Singapore’s waters, such as gobies and rare nudibranchs.

To showcase these unique and underappreciated marine life in Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium has commissioned global award- winning Singaporean photographer Toh Xing Jie, to create a special photo exhibition that celebrates them.

Xing Jie previously won the top prize in the Human and Nature category at Nature Photographer of the Year (NPOTY) awards in 2023 for a picture of a nautilus clinging onto a plastic bag.

Through Xing Jie’s lens, guests will have the rare opportunity of a close-up view into the little-known beauty of Singapore’s underwater realm, gaining a newfound appreciation for the rich biodiversity found within.

“Singapore waters are known for being murky, but each dive I made while shooting for S.E.A. Aquarium revealed a hidden world teeming with biodiversity just beneath the surface. From coral reefs surrounded by bustling life to elusive marine species, it was a captivating contrast from my initial expectations and offered me a sense of intimacy with my home. By showcasing these images, I hope to highlight the stunning marine life that fortunately still exists in Singapore. Through the photo exhibition in this year’s Ocean Fest, I hope to inspire more to appreciate and protect precious local ecosystems,” said Xing Jie.

A distinctive video wall will showcase curated narratives of people living in Singapore, reflecting on their experiences with the ocean; from an unforgettable encounter with sea turtles to fostering camaraderie in beach clean-ups.

In a poetic twist, these cherished memories and aspirations of ocean lovers from all walks of life are juxtaposed against the present state of the ocean, inspiring a deeper appreciation and commitment to its preservation.

Built by Paper Carpenter, a local team of cardboard artists who specialise in the medium, the Marine Conservation Quest is a fun pinball-inspired installation.

In this version of the nostalgic arcade game, players get the chance to direct marine animals away from an ocean of trash. With gears and obstacles made of rubbish, and pinballs that represent marine animals, players must successfully manoeuvre the marine animals past the rubbish to safety.

The true aim of the game is to increase awareness of the importance of safeguarding the ocean and its biodiversity.

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