Creating Landscapes – In Aquariums

The Tokyo Aquascape Union are a group of artists that create some pretty captivating pieces. Definitely not your average artworks, the creations of these self-proclaimed “aquarium hobbyists” are underwater seascapes on a level that you’re unlikely to have seen before.

As originally reported by Spoon & Tamago, the Tokyo Aquascape Union describes the intriguing artworks as being similar to “living, breathing, landscape paintings.”

Some of their creations are so realistic that you’d be forgiven for mistaking them for real mountain and forest landscapes. That is, of course, until a fish swims by.

These hobbyists aren’t just building these wondrous creations for fun though. Many compete for glory in the annual International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC).

The contest has been running for 15 years and has always had a healthy representation of Japanese contestants placing highly.

In fact, in 2015, Japan’s Takayuki Fukada took out the top spot for his design titled “Longing.” He is currently ranked Number One in the world. He competed against 2,545 entrants from 69 countries this year and received a grand prize of ¥1,000,000. Fukada also happens to be the founder of the Tokyo Aquascape Union.

Takayuki Fukada’s ‘Longing’ took the grand prize at this year’s IAPLC

This is Colossal details the complicated scoring process, revealing that the final rankings are “based on a complex matrix of six criteria: the recreation of natural habitat for fish; the creator’s technical skills; the long-term maintenance of the habitat; the originality and impression of the layout; presentation of natural layout; and the overall composition and planting ‘balance’.”

You can see the current complete world rankings here:

These are some more of our favorite aquascapes from the Tokyo Aquascape Union over the last few years of competition. Which one do you like the best?










–Chris Zajko


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