- The beauty of goldfish will entice you.
- Let’s travel to the Edo period!
- The highlight of ART AQUARIUM in Nihonbashi Tokyo 2016.
The beauty of goldfish will entice you.
Goldfish are the most popular aquarium fish in Japan. I believe that many Japanese people have kept goldfish in their home, at least once in their life.
Goldfish were introduced to Japan in 1502 during the Muromachi period.
They were very expensive, well beyond the common people’s reach during the early Edo period (1603~1691). Goldfish became popular and more affordable for ordinary people during the late Edo period (1780~1867). The Goldfish motif can be seen on Ukiyo-e printing art, furniture, and kimono clothing made during this period.
The theme of the ART AQUARIUM in Tokyo is “Edo ~Ryo of Kingyo~”, which means “enjoy the refreshing coolness by looking at goldfish.”
They display 8000 goldfish at an amazing exhibit that demonstrates the district of geisha during the Edo period.
You can enjoy various types of goldfish, music, and the interesting lighting of each exhibit.
Let’s travel to the Edo period!
There are 11 works of art that demonstrate the motif of traditional Japanese art at the venue in Tokyo this year. I thought the exhibition space well illustrates the atmosphere of the Edo period because the bright colorful lighting reminded me of traditional Japanese festivals. The traditional Japanese crafts and Edo kiriko (faceted glass) also gave me a sense of an Edo town.
Let me introduce some of their work.
The eye catching work of “Ohoku” (Shogun’s inner palace) expresses the beautiful world of Ohoku, where women compete for the love of a Shogun through their beauty.
Lotusrium expresses the short-lived life of a lotus flower, which blooms for only 4 days.
It seems that both lotus flowers and goldfish are relatively tiny and weak in our world.
I felt that their fragile beauty made them more attractive when I was looking at this work.
“Andonrium” (motif of Andon: Japanese traditional hanging light with a paper shade) and the “Temaririum” (a motif of Temari: an old Japanese toy) are also on display.
The “Byoburium” is a piece of art that consists of a beautiful Byobu (Japanese folding screen) shaped aquarium with projected images. The combination of these two forms of art are very harmonious.
You can’t miss all of this beautiful work, where and you can experience elements of Japanese history, culture, and tradition.
The highlight of ART AQUARIUM in Nihonbashi Tokyo 2016.
The “Super Oiran” is the featured exhibit this year, and is considered the greatest work of art in the history of the AQUARIUM. Its central goldfish bowl is the largest of their displays, and you’ll see many different types of goldfish that you may have not seen before.
It expresses the world of Yukaku (a red-light district) and shows the difficult life of a high-class prostitute. The goldfish represent the prostitutes who are competing for the highest rank: “Oiran” in Yukaku. It’s very exhilarating!
Goldfish have been a part of Japanese culture for over 500 years.
They get very bright and beautiful when they mix in with the art. The“ART AQUARIUM” is a breathtakingly beautiful exhibition.
Why not attend and experience summer during the Edo period. You might even think you’ve been transported back in time!
Date & Venue
Date: July 8（Friday）～September 25（Sunday）
Venue：Nihonbashi Mitsui hall
Date: July 6（Wednesday）～September 5（Monday）
Venue：Dojima river forum
Date: September 16（Friday）～October 14（Friday）
Venue：21st century museum of contemporary art