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J.Tsui photo

Zostera and Her Entourage  2023

Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA & D Portland, Maine 
photo credit: Joel Tsui compliments of the ICA at MECA&D

Zostera Marina (seagrass) is a new body of work that raises awareness about Casco Bay's endangered seagrass meadows.Collaborating with Team Zostera, an interdisciplinary team of experts who are Casco Bay seagrass stewards, we advance citizen science efforts. This flowering salt water plant protects the coast from erosion, stores carbon, filters water, and supports a host of organisms. Tragically, the seagrass meadows in the Casco Bay have declined in size by 54% since 2018.


Zostera is an amphibious environmental superhero and performance artist. Performing on land and sea with her artful entourage, they ward off invasive species, including green crabs. They are fashioned from tangled strands of discarded fishing gear, known in the fishing industry as ghost gear. She has a secret laboratory hidden in the depths of the Gulf of Maine where she collects seeds and samples for research and assists in seed migration.


Through ritual and performance, Zostera and her entourage demystify startling scientific data on seagrass and inspire collaborative art making and change. I am devoted to upcycling, breathing new life into lethal sea debris, transforming it into an artful, environmental tool for community engagement.


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