What happens when you put arts, illuminations, Edo and a handful of goldfishes all in one pot? The Eco Edo Nihonbashi Art Aquarium 2018 has the answer for you.
The Eco Edo Art Aquarium is an experimental art exhibition, a twenty-first century ultra-aquarium held every summer since 2011.
With a playful and imaginative twist to the practice of keeping goldfish in a glass bowl, the peculiar shapes and forms of the tanks accentuate not just beauty of the goldfishes, but also encapsulate the elegance of the Edo period. Many artists like Kamisaka Sekka have depicted goldfish in a comical and inquisitive way, one that is continued in the present age in anime and art installations like this.
The theme this year is “Real Japan - Edo. Coolness of Kingyo (Goldfish)”, in hopes to revive and pay tribute to the Edo tradition of goldfish viewing - a practice to make the burning heat of summer more bearable.
The high-tech projections along with the vibrant illuminations, theatrical music and delicate decorations, blend perfectly with all 8000 goldfishes to give us a living, breathing piece of art. It opens up a gateway to an Edo-fantasy world.
The highlight of this year’s new installation has to be the “Taisei Hokan Kingyo Large Byobu”, which combined the traditional Japanese folding screen with modern projection mapping technology. My personal favourite is the “Ceiling Kingyo”. I feel sorry for the goldfish trapped in such a tiny enclosure, but the visual imagery conveys the theme in a poetic way.
But there is a twist. Starting at 7pm every night, the exhibition turns into a live performance hall with a stylish bar for you to enjoy some traditional Japanese sake.
Adult: ¥1,000 (13 and above)
Child: ¥600 (4 - 12 years old)
Under the age of 3: Free of charge
*Visitor at the age of 12 or below must be accompanied by a guardian.
Get off at Mitsukoshimae station and take the A6 exit.
The entrance of Art Aquarium 2018 is on the 4/F of Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, inside the COREDO Muromachi 1 shopping mall.
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Like many others from Hong Kong, Japan feels like a second home to me. Having been to Japan for more than twenty times, it has never failed to surprise me with something new and exciting. As a Digital Media Arts student at the University of Surrey in the UK, I am keen on using media, particularly photography, to share both my observations and recommendations of the places I have visited around Japan. I hope my content will come in handy, especially when you are heading to the lesser known areas in Japan.