A Whole New Way to Enjoy Gold Fish! Experience the Latest Cutting-edge Art Exhibition at “ART AQUARIUM 2015”

A Whole New Way to Enjoy Gold Fish! Experience the Latest Cutting-edge Art Exhibition at “ART AQUARIUM 2015”
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Despite their name, gold fish are actually red in color, rather than gold right? Have you ever been curious as to why they have the name gold fish? Gold fish were originally from China, and brought over to Japan with that name. There are quite a few different theories regarding the origin of the name. For example, some say it was given its name because people saw the color gold when light reflected off of their scales, others say it is because they were expensive and only really bought by the rich, and some say it’s because they were thought to bring good luck.

But for most Japanese, they associate gold fish with “kingyo sukui” (gold fish scooping). Kingyo sukui is one thing that no temple festival lacks, and is a game where you try to scoop up gold fish from a fish tank into a bowl using a small scoop known as a “poi” (which is made up of Japanese paper stuck together with a round, plastic frame). If the poi’s paper gets ripped, it’s game over for that player.

Many of you may be familiar with gold fish because of Kingyo sukui, but did you know that there are over 100 different types of gold fish in existence? The “ART AQUARIUM 2015” event that took place at Nihonbashi gave all visitors the opportunity to appreciate a variety of these species of gold fish. This event didn’t just have a few tanks filled with gold fish swimming around, but had various works of art that involved a full-blown production of illuminations, images and music.

On this trip, we had our girls Kumiko Funayama, Ai Matsumoto and Hikari Shiina check out the “ART AQUARIUM 2015”.

The first thing our girls discovered upon their arrival was a Chinese lantern with the words ART AQUARIUM written in katakana.


Upon placing one’s foot inside, many fish floated to the top in complete darkness! The girls were shocked to discover that there were about 5000 fish, from 50 different species all in this one place!



The “Kaleidorium 3D” exhibit, had a kaleidoscope theme which allowed you to peep into a hole and watch as the gold fish sparkled as they moved around. Our girls really did feel like they were looking into a kaleidoscope!


At the “Rimparium” exhibit, “Fusuma”, which are sliding doors specific to Japan, were used as the primary motif for the fish tanks on display. It was set up in such a way that all sorts of flower and tree images would appear in time with the gold fish’s movements and change the design of the “Fusuma”. All three of our girls were surprised by the sheer wonder of it all!





In addition to this, there was a globe-shaped fish tank, entitled “Earth Aquarium Japonism”, and even a lotus-themed fish tank called “Lotusrium”, both of which gathered the attention of many spectators.



This unique exhibition used cutting-edge technology to display art collaborations with gold fish – fish very well-known to any Japanese person. It is most certainly a new form of art that cannot be experienced anywhere else!

Unfortunately, the “ART AQUARIUM 2015” exhibition is officially over, with plans for holding the exhibition in 2016 still undecided, but if plans do go through next year, please be sure to drop by for a unique artistic experience!

Photo by kobadog
Translated by Cheryl Coyle

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Nearest Station : Nihonbashi



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