The Exhibition of Oceans A History of the ʻImmersive Exhibitionʼ at Public Aquariums from the 19th to the 21st CenturyThe Exhibition of Oceans A History of the ʻImmersive Exhibitionʼ at Public Aquariums from the 19th to the 21st CenturyAN00047169
This paper aims to trace the history of the ‘immersive exhibition’ at public aquariums from the 19th to the 21st century, with reference to technological developments as well as the social and cultural background of these exhibits. We also take a look at what these kinds of exhibitions might look like in the near future.In this paper, we also consider the ‘reality’ presented by aquarium exhibitions. The simulated seascape cannot seem ‘realistic’ unless it meets visitors' expectations. Therefore, aquarists have over time tried to reconstruct’ oceans’ so that visitors would feel as if the exhibition were ‘real’. The first section of this paper focuses on the features of early immersive exhibitions from the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century, comparing them with other visual cultural forms, such as the panorama. The second section treats aquariums from the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century. We have selected here representative aquariums in Western and Eastern countries and analyse their exhibition styles. In the last section, which features the advent of new exhibitions that apply VR technology, we concisely discuss the exhibition that may appear in the near future.