An Amazing Living Exhibition of Thousands of Goldfish

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An exhibition with a difference, thousands of fish in illuminated tanks draws thousands of gawking viewers.

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 travelling ‘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, colours and sizes.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

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

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

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 autumn.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

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.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

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.