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Which One Is The REAL Goldfish?

GoldfishWhich

 

Not easy, is it?

 

It's not this one.
Okay, I’ll give you a hint: this one doesn’t need to be fed.

The lovely specimen in the wooden saké box is a painting of a goldfish. Actually, it’s about a gazillion paintings of a goldfish. Artist Riusuke Fukahori builds these 3-D wonders by pouring a thin layer of clear resin, painting a slice of goldfish, pouring another layer of resin, painting the next layer, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat

Yeah. I know. How does he even know what part of the fish/pond weed/bug leg/fish poop is in that exact deepness of the water?

I just. Can’t. Even.

If you do't believe me, check this out: from the top, this looks like a bag full of fish. From the side, the water looks empty!
If you don’t believe that those utterly real-looking fish are built up from flat slices, check this out: from the top, this looks like a bag full of fish. From the side, the water looks empty!

 

You can see these for yourself if you scamper over to Yokohama before next Monday (the exhibition at the Sky Building ends on Sunday the 28th), but if you’re geographically challenged, here’s a peek at the amazing eye candy on display:

The exhibition entrance features his most recent works, larger-than-life goldfish painted with an enormous brush
The exhibition entrance features Fukahori’s most recent works – larger-than-life goldfish, painted with an enormous brush
And this achingly lovely piece, a paper parasol upended and filled with rain.
And this achingly lovely piece, a paper parasol upended and filled with rain.
Don't you kind of wonder how he managed to paint all those goldfish BETWEEN THE RIBS?
Don’t you kind of wonder how he managed to paint all those goldfish BETWEEN THE RIBS?
There was also this piece – a goldfish lurking in an artfully gouged-out plank
There was also this new piece – a goldfish lurking in an artfully gouged-out plank
Goldfish1
Of course there are some of his famous sake boxes filled with goldfish & hyper-realistic pond weed…
...and fallen flower petals
…and fallen petals
As well as little worlds in broken dishes...
As well as whole miniature worlds in broken dishes…
...all beautifully rendered right down to the 3-D fish poop
…complete with beautifully crafted 3-D fish poop
I'm especially fond of these little medaka (a favorite of haiku poets to stand for "summertime in spades")
I’m especially fond of these little medaka (a perennial favorite of haiku poets, when they need a metaphor for “summertime, in spades”)
And this one is my most favorite of favorites
…but I think this one is my most favorite of all

If you’d like to see more art by Riusuke Fukahori, there are more lovely pictures here.  If you’d like to see this exhibit in person, it’s FREE, and open through Sunday August 28, 2016, on the 10th floor of the Sky Building (スカイビル)right near Yokohama Station. Weekdays it’s open from 10:00 – 21:00, weekends 10:00 – 23:00.

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Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

9 thoughts on “Which One Is The REAL Goldfish? Leave a comment

    • So glad they brightened your day! It’s beastly hot in Tokyo right now, and looking at goldfish is one of the things that’s traditionally done in summertime to make oneself feel cool when the temperature is anything but. I’m happy to report that it kind of works! (More effective inside an air conditioned gallery, of course. lol)

  1. Thanks for sharing so many pictures. I saw your article in The Collective magazine. Great to have someone “on the ground” in Tokyo to share all these experiences I can’t get to unless I’m on holiday when it’s a mad rush!

      • I’m going back for the third time soon but I know there’ll still be so much to see even after that. I’ve only been on Honshu and looking forward to getting to the other islands in the future.

      • I especially love Kyushu, myself! Although of course Tokyo is still my favorite place to be. You know about the website where I tell everyone how to get to all the places I take my friends when they’re here, don’t you? I goes way beyond the Collective article (although we did skim off some faves for that hypothetical day in Tokyo.) Anyway, the site is called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had (at jonellepatrick.com) in case you’d like a few fun ideas for the next time you’re in town…

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