Underwater photography and a whale shark exhibit will be on display through the weekend at Central Festival Pattaya Beach as the mall continues with its “Pattaya in Love: City of Ocean Arts” project.
More than 30 pieces by photographers Thirach Rungruangkanokgul, Marty Angsakul, Yoshi Hirata and others are being showcased to highlight the need for marine conservation and the plight of whale sharks, which are virtually extinct in this region of Thailand.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (4th right) and leaders from participating organizations kick off the “Pattaya in Love: City of Ocean Arts” project.
The Aug. 7-17 exhibit is part of a six-month program by Central Festival, the Amari Orchid Resort & Tower, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya office and Rak Phaendin.
A 5-meter-long sculpture of the gentle giant – which feeds on plankton, not people – also is on display. Funds raised through sale of the artwork will go toward preservation of the environment and endangered animals.
From Oct. 24-26, 50,000 people will have an opportunity to sign a 15-meter-long floating model whale shark (not unlike the huge yellow rubber duck in Hong Kong) destined to buoyed in Pattaya Bay to promote tourism.
From Jan. 30-31, the sculpture, and those of seahorses, will be submerged off Koh Phai, in Pattaya’s Far Islands chain, to become home for coral and fish as well as a place for scuba divers to take photos.
Finally, scuba-diving lovers will return to the Koh Phai site Feb. 13-15 for underwater marriage ceremonies on Valentine’s Day.