Aquariums, fountains, lakes, oceans, waterfalls — water is beautiful no matter what shape it takes. The only real problem is that you almost never see two or more different types of water in the same spot. A tropical beach have an incredible view, but don’t expect to find to see a fish tank or a waterfall nearby. At most, you might be able to find a fountain that’s been incorporated in or near a lake, but even that is fairly rare. Works of aquatic art — whether they be natural or artificial — simply don’t coexist very frequently.
A exhibit in Sao Paolo, Brazil has been trying to change all that by celebrating water in all of its forms, from rippling waves to serene aquascapes. Known as Aqua na Oca (translated roughly to “Water in the Hollow”), this art exhibit explores water in all its forms, such as manmade water turbines, fountains, the way that light reflects off of the surface of the water, a freshwater aquariums.
The art show attempts to explore makind’s dependence and relationship with water. As it takes this educational stance, it also strives to remind viewers that water serves as an inspiration for invention, exploration, and artistic achievement. The whole exhibit seems to reinforce that fact by inviting viewers to channel their inner child as they play with the exhibits.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is a sweeping, dome-like digital screen that stretches across the ceiling. Reclining chairs invite viewers to lay back, put up their feet, and watch water-inspired visions dance across the ceiling. The unique layout of the exhibit makes viewers feel as though they are spying on an alien, aquatic world.
One of the most compelling things about the exhibit is that it doesn’t try to stick to a single theme. In one spot you might gaze into the clear waters of an aquarium, but then you take a few steps to the side to see a digital aquascape. And just next to that might be an artistic sculpture that incorporates dripping water. With so many different manifestations of aquatic art, viewers can get the full range of aquatic art. Curator Marcello Dantas has good reason to be proud of the display, because Aqua na Oca is as beautiful as it is meaningful.
The exhibit is divided into different floors based on theme. The basement floor, Desaguar (“Drain”), focuses on water as a power source. The ground floor, Mundo d’aqua (“World of Water”), focuses on the complex, ever-evolving relationship between mankind of H2O. This floor includes water bridges, digital displays, and aquariums with more than 60 fish species across seven different ecosystems.