Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle
and Raoul Bukor

| 3 comments
 

A city for fish modelled on a high-rise development underway in Xi'an, China, has been installed in a gallery next to the construction site (+ slideshow).

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor
Photograph by Lindle_Bukor

Vienna-based artists Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor worked with Beijing artist Lu Yang to install fish tanks shaped like skyscrapers in a gallery space next to a large urban development.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor

The tanks form a 1:60 scale model of the adjacent high-rises currently under construction.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor

One thousand five hundred Goldfish inhabit the glass towers to represent the people due to live in this development once complete.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor

"Fishpond City is inhabited by goldfish, an ancient Chinese symbol for luck, prosperity and fertility," said the group of artists. "These residents act as a bridge to perception and empathy of urban space."

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor

At 1:60 scale a day lasts for 24 minutes and this accelerated passing of time is simulated by coloured LEDs housed in the smaller glass boxes.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor
Photograph by Lindle_Bukor

The lights glow orange in the east to represent dawn, shine bright white at noon then fade to red for dusk. Sounds of early morning traffic, street markets and conversations are also played in the space.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor
Photograph by Lindle_Bukor

Visitors can walk between the tanks, the tallest of which are around head-height.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor

To keep the tanks clean, water is syphoned under a glass floor etched with patterns of trees to signify parkland in the development. The water passes through a filtration system before being pumped back into the fish city.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor
Photograph by Lindle_Bukor

The artists created the installation as an observation of the rapid urban development in the provincial capitals of central China.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor

"Fishpond City is a measuring tool for cultural identification of urban space and reflects on the high speed development of a society," they said.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor

Other habitats for fish on Dezeen include Roger Arquer's fifteen variations on traditional fishbowls and an aquarium shaped like a zeppelin.

See more design for animals »
See more architecture and design in Xi'an »

Photographs are by Clemens Schneider unless otherwise stated.


A city for fish in China's booming centre

The Chinese hotspots of turbo urbanisation have shifted: the large construction sites, engines of economic growth have moved inland to the large provincial capitals, like Xi'an in Shaanxi. Literally thousands of high rises and shopping centres grow simultaneously, nerved by wide boulevards.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor
Water filtration system under the gallery floor. Photograph by Lindle_Bukor

Vienna-based artists Raoul Bukor and Christian Lindle in cooperation with Beijing based artist Lu Yang emerged themselves into this radical change of space by erecting a city themselves: Fishpond City - a city for fish. This permanent installation is a true to scale model of a future district of Xi'an and located right next to the construction site.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor
The high-rise development that provided the model for the installation. Photograph by Lindle_Bukor

Like a real city the model is a living system, influenced by ecological and demographic aspects. Fishpond City is inhabited by goldfish, an ancient Chinese symbol for luck, prosperity and fertility. These residents act as a bridge to perception and empathy of urban space. The installation is accompanied by 50 portraits showing the people involved in the construction of the new district as well as in its artistic interpretation, who after all accomplish Chinas urbanisation.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor
Urban development in Xi'an

Fishpond City is a measuring tool for cultural identification of urban space and reflects on the high speed development of a society.

Fishpond City by Lu Yang, Christian Lindle and Raoul Bukor
Installation layout
  • Rosalind Alexander

    Animal abuse :( Goldfish need at least 5l each, or their growth is stunted and they die sooner. Would be an interesting idea if they rectified how many fish will be kept in each one.

  • Greenish

    How enormously depressing. So many fish crammed in together, and no plants or objects to keep them happy. What a cruel way to make a statement.

  • m.h.

    I really can not understand why some designer are so cruel!