Hidetomo Kimura presents Art Aquarium – The Art of the Kingyo Fish in Milan for the Very First Time

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Art Aquarium, exhibited for the first time outside Japan, will launch its international premiere in Milan during Expo Milan 2015, staging the live art of the goldfish: the Kingyo, symbol of prosperity and fortune, becomes the protagonist of aquariums that evoke the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun. The tanks of water, which are the monumental installations of Art Aquarium, are true works of art, immersed in music, lights, images and scents.

“Art Aquarium contains the beauty created by nature. The Kingyo is a sign of Providence and I hope that the encounter with this elegant fish will give visitors the possibility to gain a better understanding of the relationship between man and nature”, states the artist Hidetomo Kimura.

To understand the meaning of Art Aquarium, we must start from the thousand-year-old history of the Kingyo, the goldfish, which originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. Arrived in Japan in 1502, the goldfish was considered rare and valuable, to such a degree that only the rulers and the most powerful men could possess one. During the later years of the Edo Period (1600-1868), many new species of Kingyo were developed, becoming a part of the Japanese culture: a symbol of prosperity and fortune that was reproduced in the arts and decorations.

The tanks come to life thanks to the sinuous, aquatic dances of the goldfish. They become the perfect stage to show the elegance of the Kingyo to the public. The aquariums in the exhibition are a complex ecosystem, which goes beyond what is strictly visible: Hidetomo Kimura has created an efficient system to filter water and free the bacteria, which are necessary for the wellbeing of the animals, using both techniques and innovation. Kimura is the creator and the only person able to manage this ecosystem, with all due respect to the fish.

The most impressive tank is Oiran (courtesan), inspired by the red light districts of the Edo period. The courtesans were educated, elegant women with an interest in art, music and poetry, and they lived in isolation from the rest of society. Oiran, created using seven changing colors, contains hundreds of goldfish, recreating an enthralling and mysterious atmosphere.
Another installation that reflects Japanese tradition is Kimonorium, inspired by the art of kimono manufacturing KyoYuzen: a two-dimensional tank with light features and projections. The same techniques are used for the magnificent nine-meter long Byoburium, inspired by the Japanese screens, which show the changes of the four seasons through spectacular tricks of light.
The exhibition contains many references to Japanese culture: other installations reproduce the famous Japanese gardens, the light of the lanterns, such as in the Bonborium tank, and the cherry blossoms in the Sakura-rium tank.
Venini, a prestigious Venetian brand specialized in the production of glassware, has created for Hidetomo Kimura the Kingyo goldfish bowl, whose the shape and colors are inspired by the flexible form of the goldfish and the sinuous movement of its fin. This partnership, launched in 2012, is a cultural opportunity for the Japanese glass production tradition Kingyobachi and Venetian art to meet and dialogue.

The exhibition is a true journey of discovery through Japanese culture, a blend of design, technology and tradition that amazes the visitor and involves him/her in a convivial and sensorial experience. The visitors who enter the world of Art Aquarium discover the ancient Japanese tradition, playing small parts in a show of which the goldfish are the stars.

The Art Aquarium exhibition arrives in Milan from Friday May 29 to Sunday August 23, following many editions in the main Japanese cities, where it has registered an extraordinary visitor flow of 4 and a half million people.

Moreover, for its entire duration, the exhibition will be accompanied by an agenda of events: tasting sessions, shows, artistic workshops for children and much more, to celebrate the culture of Japan, and in particular Kyoto, capital of the Land of the Rising Sun for more than a millennium until 1854.