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Goldfish in the Sky: The World Financial Center’s 94th Floor Art Aquarium

Goldfish. So many goldfish. They swim gracefully amidst the neon lights, and they sit ponderously in round tanks. The lights are dim. Ambient electronica plays in the background. Outside, 94 floors be...
2018-11-09 11:00:00
Photos: Brandon McGhee

Goldfish. So many goldfish. They swim gracefully amidst the neon lights, and they sit ponderously in round tanks. The lights are dim. Ambient electronica plays in the background. Outside, 94 floors below, Shanghai goes about its business unwittingly. WTF is this? The drawing room of a Japanese mafia boss?

Shanghai Shanghai

Welcome to the Art Aquarium, a goldfish exhibition designed by Japanese artist Hidetomo Kimura, on the 94th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center. It's a super popular living art installation celebrated every year in Japan. In late October it arrived in China, the homeland of goldfish, for the first time.

Shanghai Shanghai

The shapes of the aquariums are based on traditional bowls, lamps, even kimonos. Many are designed to show off the fish – the important, important fish – creating a jaw-dropping, acid-tripping effect. Music plays, neon glows and all around you, thousands and thousands of goldfish – celestial eye goldfish, pearlscale goldfish, black telescope goldfish – quietly paddle through their artsy prisons. They look fat and healthy. Not sure they aren’t crazy though.

Shanghai Shanghai

It's an extravagant, labor-intensive exhibition just dying to be photographed and put on your Moments, and it runs until mid-February 2019. Entrance is 120rmb for adults and 80rmb for the little fry.

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