Press Releases

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

March 2016

Rotating programme of visiting artists to feature American Howard Ben Tré this March

 (March 07, 2016) Artist extraordinaire and master Venetian glassblower, Lino Tagliapietra, was the first artist to feature at the recently opened Glass Studio at Soneva Fushi last year from December 15-27.

Widely acknowledged as the best glass artist in the world, guests at the luxury resort got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch Maestro Tagliapietra create unique art pieces, learn the art of glass-blowing, and also purchase his fantastic creations.

Born on the Italian island of Murano, famed for its hand-blown artisanal glassware since the 13th century, Tagliapietra was apprenticed to master glassmaker Archimede Seguso at the age of 12, and by 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.

His stunning work, celebrated for its complexity, elegance, and visual poetry 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.

Tagliapietra’s collaboration is just the beginning of Soneva Fushi’s plans to offer unique and rare experiences to their guests in the form of special courses and interactive events such as glass-blowing workshops. Several glass exhibitions are scheduled to be held every year in conjunction with a rotating programme of visiting artists. The Venetian maestro was followed by another well-known glass artist Dr Sunny Wang in February this year.

Born in Taiwan and educated in Australia, Wang, who is the Assistant Professor of Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, contemplates the meaning of life through her colourful glass sculptures.

From March 13 to April 5, the Glass Studio will feature another internationally renowned artist, American Howard Ben Tré, who will create 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.

Among his  public commissions are the award-winning installation of fountains and seating created for Post Office Square Park in Boston; the plaza and sculpture for BankBoston’s headquarters in downtown Providence; a sited sculpture for the plaza at the Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence; and an interactive fountain for the hall of the newly renovated Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston.

“We are also hoping that our 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.

Soneva’s studio, which opened its doors in September last year 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.

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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:

 Carissa Crowley
Communications Director

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: