Kingyo Sukui
Kingyo Sukui

With Amedeo Longo
Project in collaboration with Lago Smeraldo, Latina IT
Goldfish and Shubunki, paper nets, plastic, water, ceramics, various objects. Environmental dimensions, Studio Longo, Rome.

RAW 2021, 25 - 30 October 2021

Studio Longo, Rome

Review by Letizia Giardini

ph. Guido Léon, Filippo de Majo.

At the same time, the project promotes a reflection about domestic aquariums and the kitsch fakeness of their decors, that unsuccessfully attempt to simulate the marine environment. Starting from the classic broken amphora, the two artists created 20 unusual ceramic items that were available for sale and could be immerged and used as decorations inside real acquariums.

Kingyo Sukui is a traditional Japanese game usually played during summer festivals and fairs all around the country. Imagine seeing a stall with a big, rectangular tank on it. The tank is bustling with goldfish, swimming frantically and colouring the water with warm tones of yellow and orange. Remember when, as a kid, you wished you could catch one of those fish out of a pond or a fountain with your own hands? The aim of this game is quite similar: wielding a poi, a fragile net made of the thinnest paper, easy to break if wet, the player should try to catch as many fish as possible. Longo and Gurgone offer the public a larger version of Kingyo Sukui by positioning a wide tank filled with fish in the centre of the room. Whoever will choose to embark on the challenge will be given a poi and all the time they need to attempt the capture of their Shubunkin fish. If they want to take their prize home, participants will have to learn to master their impatience, the element that makes this game so complex.

At the same time, the project promotes a reflection about domestic aquariums and the kitsch fakeness of their decors, that unsuccessfully attempt to simulate the marine environment. Starting from the classic broken amphora, the two artists have created 20 unusual ceramic items that will be available for sale and can be immerged and used as decorations inside one’s own aquarium.

Kingyo Sukui, 2022.
Live fish, plexiglass, water, wood, paper and plastic nets, ceramic bowls. Variable sizes.

Kingyo sukui - Aquarium Life, 2022.

Ceramic objects, plexiglass, poster, aquarium, fish.

Variable dimensions, in photo: 400 x 250 x 110 cm.

Japanese rice paper net created for the game of Kingyo Sukui. The paper in contact with water and the weight of the fish breaks very easily.

Text by Letizia Giardini

The creative universes of Camilla Gurgone and Amedeo Longo meet and dialogue through irony and sagacity. The two artists express this stylistic trait in a personal way, adopting a complementary perspective: while Longo examines contemporaneity through the dynamic tension of linguistic short-circuits, Gurgone prefers the mode of (de)dramatization, highlighting the limits and the paradoxes of manhood and questioning the clichés about the role of the artist.

Memory and everyday life provide common ground for the development of their reflections. For Amedeo Longo, individual experience is the gateway to investigate the concepts of repetition and error. He has developed an imaginative and transfiguring sculptural vocabulary, which is particularly evident in Excalibur (2018) and Panta Rei (2019), some of the works exhibited in the studio. By actuating a displacement of the real through the exasperation of some material components, he insists on the perseverance of the attempt, without neglecting the decisive role of randomness. On the other hand, the performance practice of Camilla Gurgone and the eclecticism that characterize it. She explores the theme of the double, understood as a combination of reality and fiction, as a confrontation between the individual and the collective, and as an overlapping of physical and virtual space; the latter is achieved through Instagram filters, created ad hoc for each exhibition project. The pursuit of balance between word and image becomes an essential phase of her creative process, and the use of different media allows her to transform the most heterogeneous documentation materials into fundamental elements of her relational installations.

During RAW, the micro-world of Kingyo Sukui offers an opportunity to wonder about the alienating mechanism of reproduction in a traditional ludic event, which seems to be reassuring, but is actually constantly destabilised by random interactions between strangers and animals. Nestled on the shelves of Studio Longo are twenty unusual ceramic objects that can be purchased by visitors: they are emblems of contemporaneity, symbols of the interrelationship between the public and private realms, destined to be subjected, among the countless kitsch antiques lying at the bottom of aquariums, to the alienating scopic regime of the glass bowl.

The player can continue to hunt fish until the net breaks.

The winner can take their fish home with a special fish transport packaging.

Ceramic decorations for sale, created for aquarium decoration.

Photos from the three-day exhibition during RAW 2022, in Rome.

Try kingyo Sukui Instagram filter!