An exhibition in Shanghai is elevating the goldfish from common aquatic pet to high art by displaying the creature in elaborate, Japanese-style aquariums.
Happening from October 26 at the Shanghai World Financial Center, Art Aquarium was created in 2007 by artist Hidetomo Kimura in 2007 to celebrate the kingyo, or goldfish in Japanese, and its place in Japan’s culture.
A relative of the carp, the goldfish was first bred in China about 2,000 years ago and brought to Japan in the 1500s. It became popular during the Edo period where it was widely reared and depicted in ukiyo-e prints, furniture, and kimono patterns.
The exhibition combines both fish and art form by housing the animals in intricate tanks. One of the highlights is a gigantic fish bowl symbolizing a courtesan that’s almost 2.5 meters high and 2 meters round with 1,000 goldfishes in it. Another is pottery painted with goldfish patterns and containing the equivalent creatures in it.
According to the organizers, the fish are given nutritious meals and the water is purified. After the exhibition is over, the goldfish are returned to their breeders and wholesalers.
Tickets are ¥120 but are not yet on sale. Check out their website for more info.
Art Aquarium in Shanghai
Friday, October 26 to Sunday, February 17, 9am to 10:30pm
Shanghai World Financial Center
100 Century Avenue / 世纪大道100号