This is a sponsored guest post by Karly Code.
The next time you go scuba diving, you can see a whole lot more than just fish. For a unique experience, check out the underwater sculpture museum MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Located on Isla Mujeres, only a short ferry ride away from Cancun, this ambitious project helps preserve the coral reef of the Cancun Marine Park. All sculptures are intended to be overgrown by coral life, creating a fascinating lens into how coral growth impacts the artistry of the statues.
The museum has three major installations at Isla Mujeres: Dream Collector, Man on Fire, and Silent Evolution. The artist, Jason de Caires Taylor, carefully studies how the water changes both the shape and the colors of the artwork when creating the different underwater statues. He has a unique perspective that is evident through his work.
Man On Fire
Known as Hombre en Llamas in Spanish, this is a solitary figure that has 75 holes filled with fire coral, which will give the appearance of fire when grown. Through this exhibit, the artist aims to provoke you to think and contemplate your impact on Mother Nature. Evidently the careful placement of the natural elements symbolize how humans and nature are linked together, and how one needs the other to survive. A local fisherman was used for the cast of the sculpture.
Dream Collector (or El Coleccionista de Suenos) features a man sitting at a desk in a pondering attitude. He is the keeper of The Archive of Lost Dreams. Featured on the desk are books and miscellaneous items, with the keystone being a collection of messages in bottles. The messages were sent in from people representing different backgrounds and ethnicities, and the messages themselves document hopes and fears. At the man’s feet is a sculpture of a dog, silently waiting for its master.
Silent Evolution is the underwater museum’s largest exhibit and has over 400 life-size sculptures. The exhibit is also the most recent and was installed at the end of 2010. The sculptures represent all ages, from little children to older grandparents to pregnant women. These figures also symbolize a range of occupations, from a janitor with a broom to a yoga instructor. The artist’s view behind this exhibit is that we are all united in facing challenges with our environment.
But development of MUSA is not over. Other sculptures can be found in various locations around the world, including Grenada and Punta Nizuc. With the next phase of the project, artists will be invited to participate in sharing the vision of this vast artistic undertaking.
Art aficionados, nature lovers, scuba divers, snorkelers, or people just looking for an alternative experience are sure to enjoy a visit to MUSA. Visitors who are back for more will always find something new with the changing artwork and evolution of marine life. To get a closer look at the underwater museum, here’s a video taken in MUSA Cancun, enjoy!
Karly Code is an editor by day, destination writer by night. She went on her first road trip when she was just one week old, which fostered a love of travel ever since. Karly has lived in and traveled to many destinations, including Minnesota, Colorado, Kentucky, Washington, New York, Hawaii, California, and British Columbia. An upcoming European excursion to Italy and France is planned. Other loves include food, fashion, and photography. Follow Karly on Facebook and Twitter.