Now “Little Mermaid” fans can truly decide if life is better under the sea at SoHo New York’s Ocean Cube -- a new pop-up exhibit that immerses visitors in a habitable sea world.
Ocean Cube, which opened at 60 Grand Street June 8 and runs through August 18, invites guests to venture through six small rooms, or cubes, that represent different parts of a deep-sea journey with a metropolitan twist.
Each cube correlates to an aspect of city life, transforming a coral reef into a traffic tunnel and beds of pearls and bubbles into a shopping mall.
Using bioluminescent art installations and vibrant color palettes, Ocean Cube aims to bring the beauty of oceans into life of the city, said founder and designer Kun Wu.
Wu said the exhibit provides unique photo opportunities for young people and social media influencers, but it also intends to raise awareness around environmental issues.
The “Recycle Bank” cube, in particular, shows the reality of plastic pollution with 1,000 plastic water bottles hanging from the walls.
While posing for the perfect, #artsy Instagram photo in the cube, many guests miss the see-through shark sculpture dangling right above their heads.
The “vanishing” shark represents how sharks are disappearing from the oceans as a result of human actions -- commercial shark finning, entanglement in fishing gear and the overfishing of sharks’ prey.
During the four months of design and fabrication, the artists salvaged and reused waste material from the sculptures for the Ocean Cube sign out front and the plexi-glass installation in the transition room.
After the pop-up closes in August, Ocean Cube plans to either sell or donate all of the pieces to minimize the amount of waste that ends up in oceans.
“A lot of people came here to see the beauty of the exhibition,” Wu said. “But I also feel like we, as human beings, should preserve the beauty [of oceans]. We should try better.”