I recently visited the Honolulu Museum of Art and was inspired by all these beautiful statues of Vishnu, the Hindu "Protector God," and I loved how fierce his image was, embodying the desire to protect with such intensity. I wanted to design my own "Protector" specifically for the coral reef, so I created a mergirl whose tail is lined with veins of coral and whose four arms carry symbols of recycling and conservation. I wanted the image to express a sense of immediacy and intensity for the issue, given that coral reefs are so direly threatened and at risk of extinction. The characters are an old Chinese adage that says "Burning a city gate kills the fish in the moat," which implies that every action you take has a reaction further down the road.
Coral Reefs are underwater structures forming colonies of tiny living animals (corals) found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Coral reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. They occupy less than 0.1% of the world's ocean surface, about half the area of France, yet they provide a home for 25% of all marine species, and they are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.
These corals are under major threat due to climate change, ocean acidification, blast fishing, cyanide fishing for aquarium fish, harvesting for the aquarium trade, overuse of reef resources, and harmful land-use practices, including urban and agricultural runoff and water pollution. General estimates show approximately 10% of the world's coral reefs are dead. About 60% of the world's reefs are at risk due to destructive, human-related activities. By the 2030s, 90% of reefs are expected to be at risk from both human activities and climate change and by 2050, all coral reefs will be in danger.
Lauren YS is a California-based artist hailing from the valleys of Colorado. She began painting murals as a way to challenge herself to work large, travel more, connect with urban landscapes, communities and other artists who share a lifestyle of wanderlust and a love for the environment. She is inspired by forests and oceans, nasty feelings, things that grow/glow in the dark, ultraviolet color-scapes, bad girls who fight monsters, black holes, cybernetic organisms, fish, love, and death.