I thought that these poor little creatures were being kept in small containers until I realized what it really was: acrylic paintings underneath several layers of resin.

1. A fish in the water? It’s actually something completely different than what you think.

2. This fish is actually a small painting on the bottom of a wooden bowl.

3. It is painted using a special method. The fish’s body is painted on several layers of resin to create a three-dimensional effect.

4. Here is the first layer of resin being applied. The artist waits until the liquid substance hardens.

5. Then the fish, including all the exquisite details, are painted on the hardened layer to create the perfect illusion.

6. When the fish is finished and the paint is dry, the artwork looks like this:

7. A last layer of resin is applied. The substance doesn’t create just a 3D effect, it also helps to make the colors more brilliant.

Keng Lye doesn’t just paint goldfish, but also other inhabitants of the sea, like this octopus that is peeping out of the water. Each of them is a little work of art and completely real.

I found this guy in my soup. But it’s not really the delectable morsel that I was expecting. I wanted to save him, but…