Since the inception of the mobile phone, phone booths have become relatively redundant. But who says they can’t serve an artistic purpose? That appears to be the thinking behind art collective group Kingyobu (‘goldfish club’), which has taken it upon themselves to bring new meaning to Japan’s phone booths by turning them into goldfish aquariums.
Made up from students from Kyoto University of Art and Design, the group has been hard at work at this for the last year, with more and more of the goldfish filled booths popping up all over Osaka. Called Gold Tele
, the project is currently part of the city’s Canvas Project art festival. In fact, the goldfish booths made their first appearance during the same art festival last year.
Their re-appearance appears to be no less exciting to Osaka’s residents, with many crowding around the booths to take photographs of the swimming goldfish. The goldfish itself is an important part of Japanese culture and is symbolic of happiness and prosperity.
Donned in red jumpsuits, the Kingyobu group even have their own Facebook page
, where visitors can watch a video of the group designing the phone booth aquariums. The only question we can’t help wondering is who is feeding the shimmering creatures, and what will become of them when the phone booth is restored to its natural state.
The art of transforming phone booths into something entirely different is becoming more and more common. In Brazil, 100 artists transformed 100 payphones into original pieces of art while Russian street artist Renald turned phone booths in his hometown into shark heads.