Saturday, October 8, 2011

Since arriving in San Francisco a little over a month ago, I've had time to attend two art openings, at which I took some pictures and did a quick write up for Hi-Fructose Magazine.

 The first show, 'Sink or Swim,' was presented by PangeaSeed at Spoke Art gallery. PangeaSeed is a nonprofit based in Tokyo fighting against the problems of global shark finning. Though people have a generally negative stereotype of sharks as aggressive, dangerous animals, the chance of being killed by a shark is one in 300 million. The chance of being killed by airplane parts falling from the sky is one in 10 million. On average, less than ten people die annually due to shark related incidences and ironically, a person is more likely to die from falling coconuts, malfunctioning toaster ovens, or bee stings than shark attacks.

In great contrast, experts estimate that humans kill an average of 70-100 million sharks each year mainly for their fins to be used in shark fin soup. In the barbaric practice known as shark finning, a shark is caught then pulled on board a boat where fishermen cut the fins from the shark. Often still alive, the shark is thrown overboard and unable to swim and in agonizing pain, the shark sinks to the bottom of the ocean either to drown or be eaten alive.

Older than dinosaurs, for over 400 million years sharks have shaped and balanced the oceans. Just like on land, under the sea every living thing has a function. Sharks play a vital role in ways average fish do not since sharks are at the top of the food chain as an apex predator in virtually every part of the ocean. Sharks now represent the greatest percentage of threatened marine species on the ICUN Red List os Threatened Species; many shark species could possibly be extinct in the next 20 years. To see photos from the show, look here. 

The second show was Varnish Fine Art gallery's reopening, after the gallery was closed down in January of 2010 due to an Eminent Somain demolition involving the Transbay Joint Power's Authority. Check out  some photos and read more here.   

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