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Expressing my own inner world through aquascaping.

 

Gang Zhao
Country: People’s Republic of China
Age: 51 years old
Occupation: Freelance
Aquarium experience: 7 years
Hobbies besides aquarium: Calligraphy, Painting
Record of awards in the past IAPLC:
IAPLC2022 3rd

 

AJ - adana.co.jp - Tell us how you feel now that you won the Prize in the IAPLC 2023.
The long awaited results of the IAPLC 2023 were announced on August 26 at 7:00 pm (China time). My heart was pounding. Since the announcements were made from the top 100, my spirits were getting heavy as the works were introduced one after another. However, I felt the happiest moment when I found out that the 2nd place in the world ranking (Gold Prize) was me. I was so excited all at once that tears naturally welled up in my eyes. At that moment, I felt that all of my obsession with planted aquariums and the efforts I had put into them had been rewarded. The past few years have been very difficult at times, but I have kept on trying.

AJ - adana.co.jp - Tell us what you wanted to express with your layout work; layout theme, motif, ideas behind your winning work.
I started by sketching a canyon, then instilled into it the aquascape creation art form to give the whole composition an abstract and geometric beauty. In accordance with this vision, I endeavoured to give it a prominent vanishing point. This is another of it’s ideas.

Manifesting the rough sketch of the image in his head.

AJ - adana.co.jp - What was the most difficult aspect of creating and maintaining this layout work?
For the layout production, as regards my treatment of light and shade, I really had to do some figuring out for the lower part of the valley’s rock wall in the main scene. It wasn’t a simple one-time finish. In the stages that came after pouring the water and planting, I could not see in detail because the water was cloudy and yellow. After the water cleared up I could finally make observations. As the dark shadows were still too strong, there was not enough clarity in the depth going down or the latitudinal layers, so I made adjustments. But even then it still looked unnatural, lacking enough overall coherence, so I had to go over my adjustments to further strengthen the visual effects.

AJ - adana.co.jp - What are the key points when you select aquatic plants and fish species?
Because the surface area of the whole piece is so wide, I mainly chose mini-size Riccardia chamedryfolia for the aquatic plants. For fish, I chose Paracheirodon axelrodi as I think they suit this piece.

AJ - adana.co.jp - What fascinate or attract you the most about the planted aquarium hobby?
The beauty of life and movement.

AJ - adana.co.jp - What are your favorite ADA product(s) and why?
I recommend Solar RGB lighting as it is so natural. With consistent quality that fans trust, ADA product development are always leading the market.

AJ - adana.co.jp - Do you have any tips for winning in the IAPLC?
I have no secret theory but I do think that in an aquascape, one’s inner world can be expressed through nature.

AJ - adana.co.jp - What kind of aquascape do you want to create in the future? Do you have any dreams relating to the aquarium hobby?
I would like to go pursue new ideas which combine aquascaping with aspects of the supernatural. As for my aquarium systems, I would like to fix the inadequacies in my current set-up, and also make maintenance simpler and more convenient. I would like more people to recognise the appeal of aquascaping.

AJ - adana.co.jp - If you belong to any aquarium circles or clubs, please tell us about their activities.
I am not currently in any aquarium club.

AJ - adana.co.jp - What do you think about the IAPLC?
It is known worldwide as the most vigorous annual competition, the ultimate hall of fame for all the world’s aquatic plant enthusiasts.

 

aquajournal / adana.co.jp

 

Dimensions: 120 × 60 × 45 cm
Title : Longing
Volume : 290L
Plants: Riccardia chamedryfolia / Riccardia graeffei / Hemianthus callitrichoides ‘Cuba’ / Rotala mexicana ‘Goias’ / Eriocaulon setaceum / Glossostigma elatinoides / Micranthemum sp. / Eleocharis pusilla / Cryptocoryne parva / Littorella uniflora / Ranunculus inundatus / Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides / Hygrophila pinnatifida / Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite’ / Bucephalandra sp. ‘Mini’ / Hemianthus micranthemoides var. / Hottonia inflata / Rotala rotundifolia ‘Red’ / Rotala rotundifolia ‘Green’
Animals : Paracheirodon axelrodi / Ancistrus sp. / Caridina multidentata
Masashi Ono

Winning Work IAPLC 2013 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2013
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Beautiful Autumn - IAPLC 2014 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2014
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Root under the water - IAPLC 2015 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2015
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Early Autumn - IAPLC 2016 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2016
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The garden of Brunei Beauty - IAPLC 2017 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2017
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Fine Works IAPLC 2018 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2018
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Winning Works IAPLC 2019 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2019
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Fine Works IAPLC 2020 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2020
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Asian breeze - IAPLC 2021 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2021
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Habitat - IAPLC 2022 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2022
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Stage of blue paradise - IAPLC 2023 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2023
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Frenzy Wave - AGA 2016 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

AGA International Aquascaping Contest - 2016
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The Rise of Dragons - AGA 2017 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

AGA International Aquascaping Contest - 2017
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Wind of Kind - Honorable Mention AGA 2015 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

AGA International Aquascaping Contest - 2015
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Galloping - 1st Place AGA 2014 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

AGA International Aquascaping Contest - 2014
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Happiness is the way - Honour Prize IAPC 2013 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2013