All Photography; COURTESY OF: YOSHITRAVELFILMS
Artist statement: "Mangroves are a type of tree that grows in mudflats along shorelines of tropical regions, they are recognizable by their complex root systems which serve as homes to sponges, ascidians, algae, and corals, offer protection from storms, improve water quality and provide crucial habitat for juvenile animals such as reef fish, pelagic fish and crustaceans.
It is easy for us to overlook the little building blocks in our environment, but each little piece plays an important part and often we miss the importance of crucial elements. By removing an ecosystem like a mangrove forest along the shoreline, to build whatever it is we are building, we are inadvertently removing the bio-filter for that water as well as the storm surge protection that was offered, not to mention the thousands of lives that would be extinguished in the removal as well as the millions of lives that would no longer start their journeys in the maze of roots.
I chose to paint a representation of the mangroves from underwater as a way to focus on the root systems and what I see as the nursery of the trees. I chose to represent the nursery at twenty percent capacity to show the loss of biodiversity that is occurring right now." - Kai