Milan is the city of design, art, history, culture, food and fashion, yes, everyone knows these things. Yet one thing that has yet to stop surprising me, is the extent to which creative minds work- they are brimming with the endless possibilities of creativity, innovation and the new. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you see an art exhibit involving live fish...
One of these jaw dropping creative innovations is tucked down a little side street, just at the start of the beautiful district of Brera. Here you will find the Art Aquarium, an exhibit held in the elegant and historical establishment of Circolo Filologico Milanese. This exhibit has made its way overseas for the first time, all the way from a little country called Japan. The Art Aquarium combines a cultural icon from Japan, the Kingyo fish and the sleekness of modern glass product design, trendy music and an edgy atmosphere from Europe. The exhibit is a meeting point between all the elegance, innovation, design and edge that Japan and Milan have to offer, wrapped in modern day technology while still brimming with the tradition of its Japanese origins. Until August 23rd, 2015, you can stop by and experience this mixing of the worlds and minds.
I visited the exhibit on Friday, welcomed into the cooler temperatures of the interior off the current inferno ones of the streets of Milan. (Just as a side note, the Circolo Filologico Milanese itself is enough the visit the establishment, wide sweeping staircases, rooms filled with beautiful old books, etc.) Once you finally step into the exhibition though, another story folds entirely. The exhibition is on two stories, and is held in total darkness. What lights the direction and attraction points for the viewers, are the variously colored and shaped, lit glass shaped vases and bowls that hold various types of Kingyo fish.
I must say, the sight caught me off guard a bit, but was quite hypnotic and relaxing. It’s almost quite shocking at first seeing the contrast between the darkness of the space, and the bright changing lights of the illuminating tanks and bins for the fish, however it is very enjoyable.
I remember wondering if the fish were bothered by the lights and the streams of people but they actually seemed quite interactive anytime people were close to the tanks.
One of the aspect I particularly liked, was one of the side rooms you could venture off into. This room had chairs set up in from of what appeared to be a kimono shaped tanks, backlit by an LCD screen or some kind of projection that had a timed synced light and design show to the trend and strange music.
It was quite hypnotic, sitting in the dark amongst other foreign strangers, watching the fish swim leisurely around a kimono shaped glowing tank, but again, there was something very calm and enjoyable about it. You will all just have to experience it yourself to understand what I was feeling!
I won’t give too much more away, if you feel like getting out of the heat, and visiting a unique melange of design and cultures, come check out the Art Aquarium before it’s gone! More info on the web at www.artaquarium.it. Until next time, happy swimming! Ciao!