Art Piece Displaying Slowly Dying Goldfish Was Removed From a Museum

  • An art piece containing 15 goldfish in plastic bags was removed from a South Korea museum Tuesday.
  • Local animal rights groups were concerned about the fish in the display, one-third of which died.
  • “Now that the fish are gone, it lost its meaning as a work of art,” Yu Buck told the Korea Times.

An artist who uses dead or dying creatures in his artwork had his installation – filled with 15 goldfish in IV bags – removed from a museum in South Korea on Tuesday.

Yu Buck’s art piece, which is named “Fish” and located in the Jeonnam Museum of Art in Gwangyang, South Korea, was considered by some to be animal cruelty, according to Artnet.

“The slow deaths of the goldfish were meant to be a part of my piece. Now that the fish are gone, it lost its meaning as a work of art,” Yu told the Korea Times. “While this may cause discomfort to general audiences, the artist thinks and expresses differently from members of the public.”

Buck’s piece, part of an exhibition called “Mourning: In the Wake of Loss, A Curatorial Essay” that opened on June 30, caused concern from visitors and local animal rights groups over the goldfish displayed in the piece, Korea Times reported. The article did not specify which groups voiced their concerns.

Five of the 15 fish died after the exhibit opened, but the museum removed the rest on Tuesday.

“Art museums are designed to serve as open plazas as well as platforms for discussion,” a museum official told the Korea Times. “As we value the visitors ‘feedback and the animal rights groups’ stance, we removed the goldfish after consulting with the artist.”

Similarly, an installation by artist Damien Hirst at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg museum in Germany was dismantled earlier this month for its controversial implementation of living and dead flies, Insider previously reported.

The Jeonnam Museum of Art did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Leave a Comment