-- Beneath the surface of an Italian island lays an underwater art exhibit set upon the ocean floor.
“A new exhibition format dedicated to the sea and its admirers,” reads a translation of the Italian news release for artist Salvo Galano’s exhibit “Passaggio A Sudest,” translated as “The Southeast Passage.”
The circular exhibition, located on the Southeast coast of Ponza, was physically installed four meters, or a little over thirteen feet, below sea level.
Twenty-eight portraits are spread across the sandy floor, all taken of Southeast Asia.
Galano, a Milan native and described as “a great lover of the sea and its depths,” went through months of underwater experimentation before the exhibit could become a reality. The artist studied ocean currents and various suitable materials to make what is believed to be Italy's first underwater installation a success.
“The movements of the currents, seabed, and especially the angle of the sun at different times of day will intervene to constantly change the visual effect and the spectacle of the exhibition,” reads a translation of the press release.
Exhibition viewers may use snorkeling masks to swim down to the installation, but the clear water makes the pieces visible from above the surface as well.
The Southeast Passage, which has been open since June 18th, is scheduled to close on September 14th.
Galano expresses his love for Ponza in the press release, writing that he designed the exhibition specifically for the Island.
“Ponza is the sea, a crystal clear sea that dominates throughout. And the show has become the sea,” wrote Galano.