Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sink or Swim

Was invited to participate in this event and was super stoked to be showing in Japan for the first time as well help out with this worthy cause! Peruse the info below for more details.

My piece for the show "Great White Smirk"

PangeaSeed Kicks Off International Shark Saving Campaign, Sink or Swim

Tokyo-based shark preservation group looks to broadcast its message on an international scale

Tokyo, Japan (June 2011) – In the spirit of ocean conservation the Japan-based non-profit organization, PangeaSeed, is ramping up it’s summer activities in Tokyo and abroad with events tailored to address one the biggest threats facing the health of world’s oceans today – the rapid mass depletion of sharks.

The series of events will showcase the issues surrounding shark finning in Asia and other parts of the world, where the majority of these sharks are killed only for their fins to satisfy an unsustainable appetite for shark fin soup. In the cruel practice known as “finning,” the shark is hooked and brought aboard the boat where its fins are then cut off and the still alive but limbless animal is tossed back into the sea to drown.
With each minute that passes close to 200 sharks are killed, adding up to an astonishing 80 million deaths each year. Scientists estimate global fish stocks will be in full collapse by 2048 if current consumption and destructive fishing practices continue. But what’s even more shocking is that the majority of the ocean’s shark species could be extinct within the next 10-20 years.

PangeaSeed, with its inclusive approach to spreading its message by engaging audiences through the mediums of art, photography, film, music and discussion, will embark on a series of events both in Japan and abroad.

First, PangeaSeed will host its third annual not-for-profit art exhibition. This year’s event entitled Sink or Swim will take place in Tokyo, July 16 – 22, 2011. The show aims to offer viewers new perspectives on the widely misunderstood and demonized shark. Located at Tokyo’s M Gallery in Daikanyama, PangeaSeed will feature never-before-seen artwork from over 40 global artists such as Dave Kinsey, Brad Klausen and Kelly Towels. With a reception party to be held on Japan’s Ocean Day (Umi no Hi) Monday, July 18, guests of the fundraising event will enjoy a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Oceans”, followed by special guest speakers, live paintings and DJs.

In addition to raising funds to keep sharks afloat both in Japan and around the world, PangeaSeed will donate a percentage of proceeds to help aid animals affected by the March 2011 earthquake in Japan.

Later in July, PangeaSeed has been selected to host an information booth at the 2011 Fuji Rock Festival’s NGO Village taking place from July 29 – 31, 2011. The booth will feature information and facts about the shark finning issue and aims to provide a venue for the organization to educate and discuss with its target audience such topics as the threat of shark extinction, and the need for shark protection and shark sustainability. At the festival, PangeaSeed will collect signatures with the goal of supporting the recent proposal to ban the sale and possession of shark fins in California, while guest artists will perform “live paintings” during the festival to raise awareness for the shark finning issue. During the event PangeaSeed also will address the audience on the festival’s Green Stage.

Following its footsteps in Japan, PangeaSeed will take Sink or Swim abroad for its inaugural international art exhibition later in the year. The event will be held at the prestigious Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco, California, September 29 – October 2, 2011.

“We are very excited to showcase a not-for-profit fund raising art collection featuring works contributed from more than 40 international renowned artists, graphic designers and photographers never before seen in Japan and the United States,” said Tre’ L. Packard, managing director of PangeaSeed. “Sink or Swim is not only a reference to the cruel practice of finning but also a reference to our relationship with the oceans as a whole, “ Packard said. “As human activity is causing sea levels to rise and coral reefs to die, we see fish stocks rapidly disappearing. The global population must change course if we want future generations to experience the sea as we have. We are standing at the crossroads in terms of sustaining the oceans. We may sink and fail, or we may find a way to succeed and swim.”

Packard added, “We are thrilled with the opportunities we’ve been given to bring this message to the public. Through these events, PangeaSeed aims to open the eyes, minds and hearts of our neighbors and bring to the forefront the ecological and environmental problems that continue to be overlooked both domestically and around the globe. We believe these events are an excellent place to share our message and gain the necessary momentum to help safeguard sharks and our oceans.”

About PangeaSeed: PangeaSeed ( is a grassroots organization based in Tokyo, Japan dedicated to educating and raising international awareness on the plight of sharks and the destruction of their habitat. Through volunteer activism, research, and the various mediums of art, music, film, and photography, PangeaSeed aims to create an open dialog with the global community to develop an understanding of the need to preserve and protect sharks and the oceans. PangeaSeed is the first organization in Japan to raise public awareness regarding shark conservation and preservation. We rely on the generosity of our supporters.

Spoke Art Gallery: Spoke Art ( is San Francisco’s newest art gallery and publishing house. Located in San Francisco’s dynamic Lower Nob Hill neighborhood, Spoke Art specializes in emerging new contemporary artists with a firm emphasis on figurative and illustrative works.

M Daikanyama: M ( is one of Tokyo’s premier event spaces specializing in art exhibitions, performance art, music and film located in the trendy Shibuya neighborhood of Daikanyama.