I’ve mentioned plenty of times that aquariums can act as works of art. But what about actual aquatic art pieces, the kind that were designed by artists and installed in art exhibits?
Well, believe it or not, there was actually a whole set of artistic aquascapes that were designed as a joint effort between French artist Pierre Huyghe and Okeanos Group. Huyghe set out to capture unique emotions in the unique medium of the aquascape and creature a truly compelling aesthetic experience. He explained, “The aquarium is a place of separation, normally a collection of different species of different places around the world that are gathered together in a system supposed to be in nature, similar to a museum. I am interested in the strange relationship and separation between the human and a world. I am interested in the moment of suspension, in boredom or hypnosis in which you can find the equivalence between the encounter and the thing that is in front of you.”
Huyghe achieved this by carefully selecting terrain and creatures to interact in a unique underwater performance. Each creature had its own purpose, but after they were introduced into the aquascape they could interact organically. Huyghe said, “In these situations there is no script, the animals do not play an emotion. Still it is a constructed condition. Each entity has being chosen according to its specific natural behavior, the ‘biosemiotic’ that could recall a part or certain form of archetype specific to a given emotion or a situation we have encountered. Together, through their natural relation in this context it allowed to build an equivalence of this emotion.”
To put that in a nutshell, the creatures represent certain emotions. Seeing these creatures interact in the tank evokes these emotions in the viewer. Huyghe promotes certain emotions by designing aquariums in a certain way: “In the aquarium I help the encounters by precisely selecting the animals in that environment.”
So, what do you think of Huyghe’s aquascapes? They have a powerful emotional impact. It’s important to understand just how effectively aquascapes can represent memories or experiences. Imagine how visually stunning an aquarium would be if it represented playfulness or excitement. Bright colors and energetic fish can create a lively aquascape that is sure to put a smile on your face. And even better, you can pair your artsy aquarium with paintings and sculptures to create a powerful emotional experience.