Although founded in 2009, we didn’t first become aware of the PangeaSeed, until they teamed up with San Francisco‘s Spoke Art gallery for the group art exhibit/benefit, Sink or Swim, two years later . As the “first organization in Japan to raise public awareness regarding shark conservation and preservation,” the Tokyo-based non-profit, not only seeks to put an end to shark finning, but has also put continuous efforts towards educating the community about the ecological ramifications of such cruel practices, and the importance of sustaining our oceanic habitats by bringing people together, rather than through divisiveness. Recognizing the remarkable ability for art and film to transcend cultural boundaries and become a tool for communication and education, such mediums have taken on an important role through the organization. This weekend, PangeaSeed and Spoke Art team up, yet again, for the 2 day pop-exhibit and benefit, Saemetan: Don’t Tread on Me.
When we posted our preview for the original Sink or Swim exhibit back in 2011, one of the contributions came in the form of a limited-run, soft vinyl figurine titled “Sametan.” Created by Tokyo artist Koji Harmon (aka Cometdebris), the figure was in the form of a pseudo-anthropomorphic shark character, complete with jeans and shoes, whose fins appeared to have been sewn back on. This time around, Sameton: Don’t Tread on Me will feature customized versions of the Sameton figure by 30 different world-renowned visual artists, including Frank Kozik, Skinner, Luke Cheuh, and Buff Monster. In addition to the art show, which will only run from Friday March 29th – 30th, there will also be a screening of Rob Stewart‘s award winning documentary, “Revolution,” on Saturday from 7 – 9 pm.
Find out more about PangeaSeed and it’s mission below, after this full list of contributing artists. Then view a selection of preview images from this weekends exhibit.
“Year of Living Dangerously”
Proceeds raised through the sales of the vinyl figures will help fund PangeaSeed’s 2014 “Year of Living Dangerously” art tour of Asia. Because Asia is ground zero for the trade and consumption of many endangered species, the 2014 Asian event will reach six major Asian cities extending our core message to critical audiences. The tour with over 50 participating artists and film-makers aims to educate communities about these endangered species and encourage actions we can take to save these animals from extinction.
In today’s crowded world of mindless consumerism, wasteful eating practices, instant gratification and quick fix attitudes, it’s difficult to image one would take on such a challenge.
With up to 73 million sharks killed annually for soup, he is one of the last of his kind and a paragon for endangered marine life everywhere. When his species seem most lost in the wake of the irrational fears and misunderstanding he continues to fight for those without a voice. The tides must turn and he is a beacon of hope…he is Sametan.
Standing at a mere four inches, dressed in trademark jeans and sneakers, Sametan bares the scars of shark finning and what some cultures consider “tradition”. The little vinyl guy has one purpose and one purpose only to save his kind from extinction.
Several shark and manta ray species are being considered for possible protection status at the upcoming Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting March 2013.
And now Sametan needs your support to help take his message out of the oceans and into the streets.
An estimated 70 million sharks killed each year to satisfy the unsustainable appetite for shark fin soup. As an apex predator at the top of the food chain, sharks play a vital role in ways common fish do not. In virtually every part of the ocean, sharks keep fish populations healthy and in proper balance. In areas where sharks have been over-fished, we are already seeing obvious change for the worse.
Alarmingly, experts now predict that a majority of shark species could be extinct within the next 10 20 years. This bares dire consequences for ocean eco-systems and the people who depend on them for survival.
Check out preview images for the exhibit below the following event details…
PangeaSeed & Cometdebris Present:
“Sametan – Don’t Tread on Me”
Custom vinyl toy group exhibit/benefit
Friday, March 29th
“Ocean Love Film Festival”
Screening of “Revolution” by Rob Stewart
Saturday, March 30th
Spoke Art Gallery
816 Sutter St.
San Francisco, Ca 94109
[click images to enlarge]