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Art Aquarium exhibition by Hidetomo Kimura

Aquarium Art is an art exhibition by Japanese artist Hidetomo Kimura that will be host by Circolo Filologico Milanese in Milan from May 28th to August 23rdFor the first time outside Japan, an international premiere in Milan for Expo 2015, Art Aquarium will exhibit the performing art of the goldfish. The main theme is the Kingyo goldfish, a symbol of prosperity and fortune in the Japanese culture. The water tanks, Art Aquarium’s monumental installations, are uniquely-designed works of art with music, lights, images and smells. Understanding the meaning of Art Aquarium means to know the thousand-year-old history of the goldfish Kingyo, born in China more than 2000 years ago and arrived to Japan in 1502. Kingyo, a rare and precious goldfish, was initially available only to the wealthy elite, like governors and powerful men. It became wildly popular during the Edo period that predated Tokyo(1600-1868). Over the years, the Japanese have carefully bred the ornamental fish, which became a symbol of prosperity and fortune, reproduced in art and decorations. The tanks are animated by the winding aquatic dance of the goldfish: the most impressive is Oiran (courtesan), alluding to the Oiran, or courtesans, elegant and cultured women interested in art, music and poetry, who lived isolated from society and presented themselves by parading in the street in beautiful flowing costume during the Edo period. Orian, realized in seven shimmering colors, contains one thousand goldfish, recreating a fascinating and mysterious atmosphere. Another installation reflecting Japanese tradition is Kimonorium, inspired by the KyoYuzen kimono manufacturing art: a bi-dimensional tank with play of lights and projections. The big Ooku tank, three meters large, evokes the harem within the Edo Castel (example of military architecture of Tokyo, known as Edo in ancient times): where wives, daughters and concubines use to meet. Giyamanrium is inspired by diamonds and glasses of Edo period, with lights and colors illuminating the tank and fish.

References to Japanese culture are infinite: installations reproducing the famous Japanese gardens, the soft light of lanterns of the Bonborium tank, or the cherry blossoms of the Sakura-rium tank. Venini, prestigious brand of Venice specialized in the glass manufacturing, realized for Hidetomo Kimura the Kingyo tank, whose shape and color are inspired by the goldfish sinuous shape and the movement of its fin. This collaboration, started in 2012, is an opportunity for cultural exchange and meeting between the traditional Japanese kingyobachi glass manufacturing and the Venetian art. The exhibition is a real journey to discover Japanese culture, a fusion of design, technology and tradition that surprises the visitors in a unique sensory experience. Visitors entering the  Art Aquarium world discover the ancient Japanese tradition, becoming extras in a show where goldfish are protagonists. 

The Art Aquarium arrives in Milan, from Thursday May 28 to Sunday August 23, after many editions in the main cities of Japan, where it had an extraordinary success with four and half million visitors. Furthermore, during the exhibition there will be a rich program of dedicated events: film screenings, wine tastings, art workshops for children all thought to celebrate the culture of Japan, in particular Kyoto, capital of Japan for over thousand years until 1854.


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