Above all, it is mysterious, even though many laymen, and magicians, think the method is obvious.
The magic is about a painting of fish which Fu turns into a live school of fish. But before he did that, he released six goldfish into a shallow clear tank, waved his hands, and the fish swam hither and thither in perfect military unison under his command. (Examiner.com)
Critics accused Fu of animal cruelty. They alleged the magician used magnets to manipulate the fish.
According to a Examiner.com report, the most popular theory is that the fish have been fed food coated with iron filings and either a machine or a person is positioned under the table holding the magnet.
Fu Yandong denies it. He argues that if magnets were used, the fish would stick together. Imagine fish swimming like a group of Siamese Twins, and you suddenly have this urge to reject magnet as the solution to the trick.
Specious maybe, the argument is a good way to disprove the use of magnet. However, it is still not good enough to convince the critics and skeptics.
As usual, when a controversy involves animals, the animal rights groups voice the most strident criticism. They already prevented another scheduled TV performance of Fu and his fish.
Here’s the video. Watch it as a disinterested spectator. Don’t try to discover the method. The secret is not the point why I’m showing this video to you. The point is how Fu treats his animals. If you, like me, use animals in your show, the answer may have an impact on the way you take care of your animal assistants. That’s the extent of your interest in this matter.
Let me pursue the topic of handling animals in a future topic.
- Chinese magician’s goldfish trick sparks controversy (boingboing.net)
- Chinese Magic Fish Trick Smells Fishy (weirdasianews.com)
- Chinese worry New Year magic act is cruel to fish (seattletimes.nwsource.com)