Don’t Miss Sumida Aquarium’s Special Art Exhibition in Tokyo!

  • There is currently a special collaboration between Mika Ninagawa (蜷川実花) and Sumida Aquarium (すみだ水族館), which has a theme of jellyfish and flowers. This exhibition, therefore, was appropriately named Mika Ninagawa x Jellyfish.

    Mika Ninagawa

    Mika Ninagawa is a contemporary photographer who is known for her unique style – incorporating bright colors and cinematic framing, making her artwork look ethereal and otherworldly.

    The subjects of her photographs tend to be goldfish, landscapes, and flowers. She has won many awards, such as the Kimura Ihei Photography Award (木村伊兵衛写真賞). In 2008, more than 180,000 people visited her solo exhibition called Mika Ninagawa: Earthly Flowers, Heavenly Colors.

    Aside from being a photographer, this multi-talented lady is also a director. She directed the live-action film entitled Sakuran (さくらん) in 2007, and also the live-action film called Helter Skelter in 2012. She had also directed some music videos, notably AKB48’s Heavy Rotation in 2010, AKB48’s Sugar Rush in 2012, and Alicia Keys’ Japanese music video Girl on Fire in 2013. Due to her immense talent, Mika Ninagawa has been appointed as an executive board member for the 2020 Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games!

    Mika Ninagawa x Jellyfish

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    Located in Tokyo Solamachi (東京ソラマチ), Sumida Aquarium has a 50m long attraction known as Mangekyo Jellyfish Tunnel. Mangekyo means kaleidoscope, and it is easy to see why it was named as such; in the tunnel, there are eight tanks of jellyfish and 5000 mirrors on the wall!

    While Mangekyo Jellyfish Tunnel certainly looks breathtaking the way it is, the beauty of it is enhanced by the artistic flare of Mika Ninagawa. Her artwork is currently projected on ten additional tanks of jellyfish for this special exhibition. Among the 18 tanks, there are some that are projected with still pictures, while there are others with moving projections.

    The largest tank, located near the entrance, measures about 4m wide and a 1.5m tall. There are also eight smaller U-shaped tanks which have different species of jellyfish in each. If visitors want to learn more about the jellyfish, the staff at Aqua Lab are happy to teach them.

    There is also equipment used to breed jellyfish, and visitors can observe the growth of jellyfish from baby to adult before they are put into the tanks.

    The 5000 mirrors in the tunnel are a must-see in this exhibition due to the kaleidoscope effect it produces. Besides the fantastic view, your other senses will also be entertained with beautiful music and fragrances. The tunnel will be featuring two different projections; one projection is played in the afternoon while the other projection is played in the evening. Each one plays for seven minutes and as the images are constantly changing, you are able to spend a lot of time in this exhibition and without getting bored.

    After you are done with the enthralling journey, you can rest and have some jellyfish-themed treats at the aquarium’s café. An example would be the Jellyfish Soda, which has cotton candy in it. Besides that, you can also buy souvenirs in the form of postcards and annual passports that feature designs by Mika Ninagawa. The exhibition began on November 8 2016 and it will end on March 14 2017. There is still some time left for you to visit this wonderful exhibition!

    Sumida Aquarium website

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