Fish Bowls by Roger Arquer



Fish Bowls is a new project by designer Roger Arquer that presents 15 variations on the standard fish bowl including Do Not Piss Me Off (above), which "tells us about the power to decide between the life and death of the fish".


"Each piece examines a topic or suggests a solution to an issue," says Arquer. "Dear Neighbour (above), for example, tell us about the delicate relationships we have with our close neighbours, Suicidal Tendencies prevents your fish from committing suicide, and Russian Dolls (below) gives your fish a chance to decide how big it wants to be. I once read that a fish grows according to the space it has, that’s what inspired me in this case."


Fish Bowls will be exhibited in London this September as part of an exhibition called Conversational Spanish 02. Curated by Hector Serrano, the exhibition also shows the work of other Spanish designers including El Ultimo Grito, Martin de Azua and Marti Guixe.


Conversational Spanish 02 is supported by ICEX (Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade) and takes place at the Noel Hennessey contemporary furniture showroom, 67a Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7PT, from 18-25 September 2007.


Photos are by Peter Mallet. Below is more info from Arquer and descriptions of the rest of the Fish Bowls:


This project comprises fifteen different fish bowls that explore variations of the iconic image of a fish bowl.

Each piece examines a topic or suggests a solution to a different issue. In this project human qualities had been attributed to fish through the design. Thoughtful and yet playful, FishBowls relate with Birdland and Mousetraps, two previous projects also conceptualized on variations.


Above: Above Water, tell us about sharing the water between the fish bowl and the plant.


Above: Wishing Well, tell us about cultural traditions related to throwing coins on wells or fountains.


Above: Bottle Vase, tell us about how we use objects for another purpose, when they original function has ended.


Hanging from a String, tell us about find playfulness in a apparently threatening situation.


Above: Pure Life, tell us about purifying the water directly when refilling the bowl.


Above: Private Matters, tell us about privacy for the fish.


Above: Chill Out / Warm Up, tell us about how we can control water temperature adding hot water or ice in the small receptacle.


Above: Russian Dolls, tell us about how big the fish wants to grow. If stays in the small bowl, the fish will keeps small. If it goes to the big, it will grow.


Above: Under Candle Light, tell us about candle light floating on water for a romantic evening.


Above: XS or XL, tell us about relationships between a big fish and a small one living together.

Posted on Thursday August 16th 2007 at 9:02 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • lizzie and van

    The world is a wonderful place and everything has a place. Fish and bowls, Roger and art, peas and pods……brilliant.

  • viviana farrera

    disculpa…me podrìas dar informaciòn de ¿en donde puedo conseguir tus peceras en Mèxico?
    ¿puedes distribuirme peceras a Mèxico o solo eres distribuidor de ciertas zonas?

  • w

    good but not brilliant

  • Wolfie

    Where can I get one! I am redoing my room and theses are soooooooo cool!

  • Tanan

    Gr8 bowls,But extremely cruel to fishes like betta and Goldfish,can keep a pair of neon tetra though.with some filteration or maintance.

  • klejdi

    Roger, why don’t you put internet inside the fishbowls, so the fishes can comment here, like we humans are doing about your designs ?

    I really want to know what do they think about your sado-artistic fantasies…

  • Marina Filippini

    complimenti per le “cazzate”! Sei davvero convinto che i pesci stiano bene?

  • JJ Fisher

    Beautiful designs – horrid tanks
    Goldfish should be kept in very large oxygenated tanks or better yet ponds
    Betta are air-breathers and need good air flow on the surface – preferably heating as well since betta tends to wither and dye of cold if kept long under 18C-20C. They are tropical fish from Thailand and require heat.

  • Alice

    Can we let it be known that these are works of art? Really, people? I understand your concern for the fish, I’ve got my own as well, but these are pieces! Even if you find them pretentious or preachy or just stupid, this man put effort into them. They’re his ART. ART. I’ve seen pictures of people with fishing line wrapped tightly around their bodies, but that doesn’t mean they’re advocating it as a way of living! It’s ART. The artist himself said he was exploring ways of solving solutions… you may not see what he was going at, but he did. And others do too!

  • ByakkoChan

    Lovely to look at, but many of them are highly impractical in actual application, sadly. In addition to water, fish need air, and several of those tanks would cut off the air-supply. I suppose if you were changing the water very regularly, you could get away with it for a while, or if the plant (in that particular instance) was a highly oxygen-producing one, you could perhaps entrap the entire thing in a bubble; eco-dome like. Just don’t forget to feed them, and top up the water occasionally.

  • edda

    love the fishbowl,
    but i think it´s very cruel for the fish!
    this is 2010!, you can not do these things anymore!

  • I agree with the folks who've called those setups cruel. And even if bettas can survive without filtration, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be at their best without it. Betta owners should do what they can to make sure that the betta fish life span is long and healthy. Not shorten it by putting their fish in little bowls like those.

  • kasdhf

    first, learn to right in English. Second fish bowls are cruel enough without limiting the space further and poisoning the fish with copper.

    On a related note where can I buy these so that I can start torturing fish too.

  • Felicity

    Beautiful. I love the one with the plug. The others I find a little unrealistic, but beautiful as art. I'm worried a goldfish would get stuck in the smallest Russian doll bowl though. That's a little scary. But on the whole, as art, this is beautiful and modern and I take my hat off to you. I like the way you have interpreted each bowl. I never would've thought of it in my random Web page browsing.

    P.S. – It is a bit controversial when you include animals so I understand all the concerned posts. But this isn't about the animals so much, more the art. I think people need to calm down a little here and admire each piece knowing that it is a one off piece of art that, in time, probably won't even be used as a pet bowl. Ignore those who wish to eat you to pieces Artist, just keep creating and being bold and experimental. 

  • galessa

    Delicious and smart concepts. I feel sorry for fish kept in such environments, though.


    I have better in a 1 gallon glass bowl with river rocks and some floating plants. I change the water every few days with filtered water. I also have a small submerged heater in the bowl when the temps cool off. He seems very content in this environment. Cleaning the bowl often is key. Goldfish are dirty fish and, if kept even a day in the bowls shown here, you’d see a lot of waste on the bottom of the tank.

  • Birgitte JH

    I think this is talking about human psychology and human challenges – the fish is just there as an allegory and for beauty. Inspiring work.