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[Photos] Under the Sea: Singapore Artist Depicts Life After Ocean Level Rises

The surrealistic set of photos showcases both the dire future of low-lying cities and mankind’s amazing adaptability in the face of extreme climate shift.

Climate change is a real and serious problem that all world governments must confront in the next few decades. As a result of melting ice caps, low-lying regions might be gone due to rising water levels. Much of Southeast Asia consists of coastal cities and islands that will be underwater by then, according to experts.

In a previous interview with Saigoneer, Dutch urban delta expert Joep Jassen shared that the Mekong Delta will be among the three deltas hit hardest by climate change by 2050. Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is sinking faster than any metropolis in the world at 25 centimeters per year. In Singapore, the local government is also aware of the effect that the rise in ocean level poses. The majority of the country is located just 15 meters above the mean sea level with some 30% of land lying less than five meters above the line.

While the harrowing situation is undoubtedly a wakeup call for policymakers, Singaporean Sean Lee sees it as an opportunity to flex his creative muscle with a fascinating series of image manipulations. In the collection, Lee uses normal photos he took in his neighborhood and all around Singapore to create a personal vision of how Singaporeans will adapt to a semi-submerged life in the future.

The 27-year-old graduated from the Art, Design & Media program at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, according to Mothership. Lee also shared that he took inspiration from Rapture, an underwater city in the shooter game BioShock, to create the images.

In the series, one can easily recognize scenes of normal life in Singapore submerged in the blueness of the ocean. Normal buses are replaced by their waterborne counterparts and walkways turn into submarine tunnels like those commonly seen in aquaria. Lee also slips in a few tongue-in-cheek quips like a banner informing commuters that their train is delayed due to dugong migration.

Have a look at Sean Lee’s surrealistic vision of Singapore in 2030 through the images below:

[Images via Facebook user Sean Lee Siu Lun]

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