Press Releases

Top Venetian Glassmaker First Artist to Feature at Soneva Fushi’s New Glass Studio this December

November 2015

(November 1, 2015) Artist extraordinaire and master Venetian glassblower, Lino Tagliapietra, will be the first artist to feature at the recently opened Glass Studio at Soneva Fushi from December 15 – 27, 2015. Guests at the award-winning luxury resort, located in the Baa Atoll, will get the unique opportunity to watch Tagliapietra create unique art pieces, learn the art of glass-blowing, and also buy his creations on sale at the Soneva art gallery.

Widely acknowledged as the best glass artist in the world, Tagliapeitra was born on the Italian island of Murano, famed for its hand-blown artisanal glassware since the 13th century. At the age of 12, he was apprenticed to master glassmaker Archimede Seguso, and by the age of 21 had already earned the title of maestro himself. In 1979, he moved to the United States to teach at the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, which also marked the beginning of his international career and collaborations with other prominent glass artists.

Celebrated for its complexity, elegance, and visual poetry, his stunning work has earned him numerous awards such as the Glass Art Society Lifetime Achievement Award, election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been exhibited at top galleries around the world, including the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, Washington DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Tokyo National Modern Art, as well as at the Venice Biennale.

Soneva’s studio, which opened its doors in September this year, was conceptualised as a state-of-the-art facility for resort guests to watch world-renowned glass artists create objects of art, and learn the art of glass blowing. It also includes a retail boutique and art gallery, designed to showcase the work of Maldivian and international glass artists.

The facility uses only waste glass materials used at Soneva resorts and other resorts in the Maldives. It is estimated that the resorts in the Baa Atoll alone produce more than five tonnes of glass waste, every month. “The idea behind this project is to turn the glass into something that is much more beautiful and valuable than it was in its previous state,” said Sonu Shivdasani, Founder and CEO of Soneva.

Tagliapietra’s colloboration is part of Soneva’s plans to offer unique and rare experiences to the resort guests in the form of special courses and interactive events such as glass-blowing workshops. Several glass exhibitions will be held every year in collaboration with a rotating programme of visiting artists.

Next year another internationally renowned artist, American Howard Ben Tré, will join forces with the Soneva Glass team in creating a series of works at the resort. A pioneer in the use of cast glass as a sculptural medium, Ben Tre has won critical acclaim for his unique sculptures and large-scale works of art for public and private spaces. His works have been included in more than 101 museums and public collections worldwide, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nice, among others.

“We are also hoping that this facility will stimulate the Maldivian art scene, as we aim to both nurture the talents of Maldivian artists and provide a platform for them to get recognition,” said Kevin Christison, Soneva’s Curator of Art.

“So far visitors to the island have been very fascinated by the glass facility and some of them have already had some glass-blowing training and have returned home with personally-designed pieces of art,” Christison concluded.

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About Soneva Fushi:

In 1995, award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives. It has a pristine Biosphere UNESCO protected reef and is known for its legendary service.

Fifty-seven private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef.  Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers.

Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn’s rings in the high-tech Observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from and nine dining options.

If the experiences are magical, the philosophy is simple: No news, no shoes. No pretensions either.

For more information, contact:

Gavin Nazareth
Communications Director (Interim)

Soneva Resorts, Residences & Spas
19/F Two Pacific Place, 142 Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: 66 (0) 2631 9624 Fax: 66 (0) 2631 9699 Email: