Japanese artist finds beauty in resin for goldfish creation

January 13, 2017 17:36
Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori says he was inspired by his pet goldfish. That's when he began to examine his life. Photo: HKEJ

Born in Aichi prefecture, a renowned goldfish breeding ground, Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori thought his works were great until he saw the beauty of the fish.

It was a turning point.

“I brought it home from a summer festival in 2000. I was surprised to find that the small fish could grow to more than 20 centimeters," Fukahori said.

“That day it was swimming in the cloudy water. I had not changed the water for days. When I poured water into the tank, it became lively," he added.

“Then I found out that one of its eyes had gone blind. But my pet goldfish had not given up. It was then that I thought about my own life."

Fukahori graduated from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music.

In 1999, despite strong opposition from his family, Fukahori quit his job even if he had no idea what he would do next.

Then came Kingyo Sukui (Goldfish Salvation), one of his first works on the subject.

In the following two years, Fukahori tried to share it with the world.

“I did it on canvas but the presentation could not showcase the true beauty of the goldfish,” he said.

While working at a small chemical plant, Fukahori discovered the right medium for his creation.

In the layers of resin, he was able to do a three-dimensional painting of goldfish.

The art requires patience and skill.

First, Fukahori had to pour a layer of resin into a container and he would draw the fish belly and fins after the plastic dried.

Then he had to apply another layer from which he would draw the torso. It would take two days and require at least four or five layers of resin for one fish.

“Nowadays, everyone can easily create something realistic on a computer. I insist on taking on the challenge stroke by stroke. It is 100 percent my own effort without the aid of a computer. Dedication is a supreme tradition in Japan," he said.

“My old works were no good as I used to imitate other artists from the US and Europe. Now, I take inspiration from daily life and express my unique artistic vision. They are my own goldfish and I take pride in the creations.”

East Point City, a shopping mall in Tseung Kwan O, is showcasing Riusuke Fukahori’s works from now till Feb. 21.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan. 12

Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Riusuke Fukahorii paints goldfish stroke by stroke in layers of resin. Photo: HKEJ
Asked if his fish has been mistaken for the real thing, Riusuke Fukahori said he had to put it to the test, Photo: HKEJ

HKEJ writer