Goldfish have a special place in Japanese culture. They were first introduced by the Chinese during the sixteenth century, and were initially kept as treasured pets by samurai and aristocracy. In modern day Japan you can see them everywhere--whether it be ornamental decoration on kimono and other goods, or as a challenging and fun carnival-like game called "kingyo-sukui" (goldfish-scooping) popularized at summer festivals. Now, however, they can be seen in an even more beautiful light that is expanding the umbrella of art.

Hidetomo Kimura, an "aqua-artist", has a unique art exhibition that puts these taken-for-granted fish on display as living works of art. Using prisms, colored lighting, and projections, he has delivered a fascinating sight that lets those waiting in the hour long lines experience gorgeous artwork that moves. Kimura feels that he can use modern technology to illuminate an unknown beauty in nature:

The Art Aquarium I create is fusion of product, space design, direction and ecosystem in the Aquarium tank. Beyond the technology to catch people's heart, there lies natural beauty this earth has created. KINGYO is created by human hands but there is no doubt that it is in the providence of nature.

Art Aquarium

Thanks to photographer Simone Armer, we have an inside look at the wonderful artwork on display in Hiroshima (it is currently moving around Japan), at an exhibition to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings. Following that is a promotional video of the exhibition in English. Enjoy!

Here is a promotional video of the exhibition from 2014.

Exhibition information can be found here


By - grape Japan editorial staff.