Since the 1990s, an intrepid group of aquascaping artists have gradually raised the bar of what’s possible with the design of a traditional aquarium. Using only natural elements, the aquariums you see here are years in the making to ensure plants and animals all exist in harmony while trying to achieve merits on an exhaustive list of aesthetic criteria. Over 2,000 participants from 60+ countries submit designs for the annual International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) and here are some of our favorites from this year.
Wading calf-deep into what looks like an infinite pool of water, visitors to Tokyo’s Odaiba Minna no YUME-TAIRIKU 2016 festival walk slowly through teamLab‘s (previously) latest light mapping installation. A shallow pool of water is completely surrounded by mirrored ceiling and walls, highlighting the psychedelic nature of the thousands of computer generated koi fish that are projected around the viewer’s feet. The fish change speeds as they navigate the waters, often crashing into observers and bursting into scattered flowers upon contact.
The interactive installation is one of four large-scale immersive experiences produced by the Japanese art collective for the festival which is on view through August 31, 2016. You can see images of the other installations on the festival’s website and watch the koi fish in action in a video produced by teamLab below. (via Culture N Lifestyle)
Ah yes, the majestic… goldfish. Photographer Visarute Angkatavanich (previously here and here) takes us up close and personal with these unusual domestic fish, from Siamese fighting fish (betta) to various breeds of goldfish, the Bangkok-based photographer casts these unusual pets in a spectacular light. Shooting in crystal clear aquariums with powerful lenses, Angkatavanich photographs each fish against black and white backgrounds creating the effect of each fish swimming in midair. The close-up portraits also have the added benefit of capturing moments of unintended personality. You can explore more of his recent photos on 500px.
Designer and founder of Misawa Design Institute, Haruka Misawa (previously), has designed a series of minimal aquariums titled “Waterscapes” that include 3D printed objects inspired by undersea plant life. These works mimic coral and other aquatic flora that small fish use as hiding places, yet are all manufactured digitally. The objects are ones that would normal topple or crumble because of their own weight, yet because of their underwater location are able to exist as buoyant additions to the aesthetically pleasing fish homes.
Within the series Misawa has also designed bubbles of air within the aquariums that allow plants to thrive at the center of her creations. These meta environments appear like miniature fish bowls within larger aquariums, with plants floating at the top of the inner enclosures. These works were displayed recently in Taiwan in an exhibition titled “Waterscape” and you can see them in action in the video below. (via Design Milk)
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that a baby swordfish is extremely tiny, but for an animal that grows up to 10 feet long and weighs nearly 1,500 pounds, it’s still astonishing to learn their offspring are so miniscule. PhD candidate Juan C. Levesque shot this amazing close-up of a baby swordfish perched atop a human fingertip for scale. Incredibly, this tiny fish will grow up to 29 inches in just its first year of life. You can read more about the rapid growth of swordfish at Florida Sportsman. (via Twisted Sifter)