Royal Caribbean International has announced that the new Ovation of the Seas set sail from Southampton, UK, this week on its 52-day Global Odyssey with an 11,000-piece, $4.5 million art collection onboard.
Curated by London-based Peter Millard and Partners, the collection features contemporary art from artists from around the world. One of the most notable pieces is “Mama and Baby,” a larger-than-life commission designed by UK-based artist Jo Smith. Perched atop the SeaPlex on deck 15, the piece depicts a mother panda and her cub, reaching out to one another. Considered a symbol of good luck and a national treasure in Chinese culture, the peaceful creatures with the distinctive black and white coat were curated with Ovation’s primarily Chinese guests in mind, the cruise line said. The pandas are also a playful nod to the cruise line’s newly announced partnership with World Wildlife Fund, which focuses on ensuring the long-term health of the oceans its ships sail upon.
Mama and Baby together weigh approximately six-and-a-half tons. Mama is 10 meters high, or approximately 33 feet, from the deck to the top of the sculpture, while Baby is approximately three meters, or ten feet tall.
Onboard guests can also check out "Sky Wave," a kinetic sculpture by New York-based Hypersonic and Boston-based Plebian Design. The installation pivots and curves at different points to mirror the flow of both wind and water. Further inspiration was also taken from the ship’s movement. Each petal in Sky Wave is made of handcrafted fiberglass and varies in length to hone the flawless rolling sway. Located on deck 5 just in the Royal Esplanade, the piece was commissioned specifically for Ovation.
In the ship's elevator is all-new imagery from Chinese photographer Huainan Li’s series, “The World of the Senses.” The series features the futuristic faces of women accented in metallic hues and sporting glasses that reflect a variety of whimsical scenes.
In the rotunda is the work of Bieli Liu, a Chinese artist who played into the natural movement of the ship with an adaptation from her “Lure” series of installations. The sculpture was created to fit the rotunda location and represents an ancient Chinese legend depicting the red threads that connect Chinese children to their soulmates. A disc may be connected to another, as a pair; and a pair of disks may sprout from a single thread. The installation is designed to suspend from the ceiling to respond to subtle air currents and movement as the red coils turn, and strands of thread become entangled.
Figures from artist Zheng Lu are located outside Two70. The sculpture – inspired by the artist’s father, a Chinese poet – weaves Chinese symbols together in a delicate fashion. Heading into the Royal Theater, artist Dominic Harris engages show-goers with an interactive piece titled “Flutter Wall.” The 120-inch screen showcases butterflies on a black canvas that seemingly fly away as guests walk up for a closer view.