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Goldfish Diary


Goldfish World - The Beijing Zhong Shan Garden

In this issue, our member reports on the goldfish exhibition in the Beijing Zhong Shan Garden

Given the goldfish’s ancient origins rooted deeply in China, and its historical association with the Chinese Monarchs, it is hardly surprising that Beijing’s Zhong Shan Garden, located just beyond the outer walls of the Forbidden City, is home to a beautiful public goldfish display.

Zhong Shan Garden’s goldfish display area is nestled in a quiet corner of its vast picturesque grounds of ancient trees and flowerbeds. One of our members was fortunate enough to visit it in May this year. He was doubly lucky in that the Garden was hosting one of its goldfish exhibitions at the time.

According to the Garden’s goldfish curator, numerous goldfish exhibitions are held throughout the year. The exhibitions present an opportunity for goldfish enthusiasts to learn and meet like minded people. Goldfish ‘professors’ are invited to such events, and contribute to the Garden’s efforts to educate the public. It is encouraging that the Chinese are taking such take such commendable efforts to preserve the future of China’s “living heritage”.

Goldfish Exhibition from 8 – 14 May 05

Zhong Shan Garden’s permanent goldfish displays are built into the walls of several specially designated corridors. The wooden beams that hold up the garden’s corridors are individually hand-decorated with paintings. The numerous corridors translate to thousands of fine paintings. A closer look at the paintings reveals that some of them are, quite fittingly, of goldfish.

It is interesting to note that the goldfish on permanent display were not the run-of-the-mill varieties but comprised of some of the more sophisticated and very rare breeds.


Black dragon egg fish

Red cap dragon oranda


Red white lionhead

Red cap lionhead


Rare cinnabar bubble eye

Dragon eye butterfly


Red black lionhead

Classical pearlscale

Entrance to Zhong Shan Garden.

First view of Zhong Shan Garden’s goldfish area

Permanent goldfish display area

Painted beams

A wooden display tub

Earthen display jars

The displays for the goldfish exhibition were fascinating in their own right. For these non-permanent displays, the Garden used red earthen jars, of approximately 1 metre in diameter, and traditional wooden goldfish tubs, measuring approximately 3 metres in diameter.

The goldfish on exhibition during our member’s visit comprised of relatively mainstream breeds from the southern provinces of China. Given its historical location at the heart of the Chinese capital, literally between Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, and the commendable non-profit initiatives of its curators, one might regard Zhong Shan Garden as a Mecca of sorts to the goldfish fanatic. We definitely recommend a visit for the goldfish lover in Beijing.
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16 October 2005

Red black dragon egg fish

Brown pompon ranchu



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