M.U.S.A. (Museo Subacuático de Arte) - Underwater Art Museum
Updated: Mar 10
My first thought was that MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) - a Museum of Underwater Art - should be listed as an experience rather than an art installation, but my doubts were resolved when I found out that the park was created by artists: British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and 5 Mexican artists.
At a depth of 30 feet, the unique exhibit is an experience of a lifetime: the sculptures are made of a special cement that promotes the growth of corals, and at the same time they attract sea creatures who make themselves at home there.
Taylor spent 18 months and a total of 120 hours working underwater. He ended up using 12 tons of cement, sand, and gravel, 3800m (2.3 miles) of fiberglass, and 400kg (881lbs) of silicone.
The underwater museum is not completed yet, although it was officially opened on November 26, 2010. In the plans - 12 galleries with 1364 sculptures.
Taylor's projects are scattered throughout many different places in the world:
Of course, it is necessary to add nature herself to the best of artists. The entire exposition is dedicated to her - to protect oceans and their creatures. Thanks to them the park is like a water theater - every moment is different and in constant change. On the first sculptures, Taylor himself planted corals from damaged coral reefs. Now, each one is filled with crustaceans, fish, shells, seaweeds and especially soft corals who have all found their homes there. These creatures constantly create the new exposition by changing the underwater human bodies at their own discretion: one sculpture is gifted with enlarged ears, another one with wings, a third one with hair extensions, but without the right to choose color, length or structure. It is like a reminder that not everything happens as people desire, and that humans are not Almighty after all.
It’s hard to convey the feeling of slowly gliding through the sculptures, trying to see what’s hiding in or behind it, protecting the scattered plants, and wanting to touch at least one fish from a thousand in their schools trying to safely pass by. All I can do is to advise - see and feel for yourself.
Those who have never dived, but have at least 3 days on the island and a desire to try, can choose from one of a few diving schools at the island. We dove with the Garrido brothers “Scuba Garrido”:
Honestly, I don’t know whether the diving schools are very different: some may be more commercial than others; however, prices are similar everywhere. Flexibility in time was very important to us, the Garrido brothers were ready to adapt to our possibilities, so we chose them. They even saved us time by picking us up from home. 😊
And if you don't dive or are afraid of water, the sculptures can be seen from above through the glass floor of the ship, or you can see copies of the sculptures and even one original - Robert Diaz Abraham's "Ocean Muse" - on land in Kukulcan Square in Cancun.
The best explanation from the Taylor's website https://www.underwatersculpture.com/projects/musa-mexico/:
"The Bankers are a symbol of how little we look to the future and how we are focused on short-term gain. Each sculpture is in prayer position to show that monetary items have replaced his god. Each Banker has a cavity between his buttocks for marine life to inhabit. Crustaceans and eels make this space their home."
Part of "The Silent Evolution". The group consists from ca 400 sculptures of life size villagers from the nearby Puerto Morelos.
" Anthropocene" : what are we leaving to future generations (a boy sits inside of the car and looks sadly through the window) ?