Asia’s love of ‘living art’ koi fish growing

Koi, an ornamental fish which enthusiasts liken to a moving work of art, are gaining popularity across Asia thanks to changing lifestyles and increasingly sophisticated tastes, experts say.

Asian fish connoisseurs treasure koi — domesticated varieties of the common carp — as Europeans would a painting by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, they say.

“I look at a Picasso and I say it’s a child’s painting… but people will pay hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars for it. For Asians, koi is like living art… it’s like poetry in motion,” said Richard Tan, chairman of the committee that organised the First Asia Cup Koi Show in Singapore this month.

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