Dive into the Sunken Castle of Ryūgū-jō at the ECO EDO Nihonbashi Art Aquarium 2017
Now marking its eleventh year the Art Aquarium exhibition is a firmly established part of the Nihombashi social calendar. In the sultry Japanese summer as the temperatures soar and the cicadas sing this has become an an oasis of tranquil calm, both in the cool flowing waters and crystalline structures conjured from the mind of artist Hidetomo Kimura, and in the gentle relaxing movements of the some 8,000 predominantly gold fish and other ornamental fish that are the real stars of the show. Even though the vast structures that the rare and occasionally unusual gold fish swim through are grandiose in scope, this is a custom that was very much part of commoner tradition in feudal Edo era Japan, the culture of meditatively watching goldfish as a means to cool down a simple pleasure that unites the past and the present.
Each year the exhibition takes a different theme and this year we find ourselves in the ocean-floor castle of Ryūgū-jō, the dragon god of the sea in Japanese folklore. Beyond the main castle, there is also a projection mapping display that tells the story of the castle, and once again reaching into Japanese tradition we find many of the exhibits framed in Japanese kogei crafts, whether in excruciatingly painted kutani ware bowls on a striking scale, Edo kiriko cut glass, or artworks bound in kumihimo silk braid, it is a multi-faceted encounter with the arts to be savoured.
Beyond the exhibits from seven in the evening the space is also transformed into a bar and cocktail lounge where in this stunning setting you can enjoy premium DASSAI sake, itself a mix of tradition and progression that is a junmai daiginjo, the finest sake wine within the nihonshu world.
ECO EDO Nihonbashi Art Aquarium 2017
~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium
Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall
July 7th, 2017 - September 24th, 2017