In pictures: Thousands of goldfish bring Tokyo art exhibit to life

Installations using goldfish in illuminated tanks are displayed at the Art Aquarium exhibition in Tokyo. Source: Reuters

A JAPANESE artist has used thousands of fish in illuminated tanks to create a sprawling psychedelic visual art installation, drawing tens of thousands of viewers in Tokyo.

Hidetomo Kimura’s traveling “Art Aquarium” exhibition puts on display around 5,000 goldfish and 3,000 other maritime creatures, such as seahorses, in 130 LED-lit tanks of various shapes, colors and sizes.

The LED displays provide a colorful variety of moving images, such as one of sakura blossoms falling serenely from the sky, to the accompaniment of music.

Kimura said on the sidelines of the exhibition:

“I wanted to create an artistic installation which is alive by using real fish, rather than materials or pictures.” 

Kimura creates similar installations several times a year to show all over Japan. This year’s Art Aquarium, which marks a decade since Kimura’s first such display, is also set to show in the western city of Kyoto in the fall.

This year’s exhibition features hundreds of varieties of goldfish, including several cross-bred species. The fish swim in bubbling fishbowls made of magnifying glass, draped with lace or shaped like Japanese lanterns, among others.

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One of the new works this year, in which Black Moor goldfish swirl about as their shadows are projected onto a white LED screen, creates an illusion of a Japanese ink-and-wash painting.

The exhibition is on show at the Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall till Sept 24.

Text and images by Reuters