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Title

Fish plant

1991


Artist

HATTORI Kumiko

Japan

1960 -


About

Hattori's whimsical, humorous image is an imaginative and modern interpretation of the bonsai theme. Born in Tokyo and educated at Tama Art University, Hattori now resides in Hyogo Prefecture.

Fish are a recurring motif in the arts of Japan, appreciated for their aesthetic and symbolic as well as their epicurean worth. Traditionally the fish has been employed as a symbol of wealth and abundance, and diverse types of fish, each with their own symbolism, are used to celebrate specific occasions. Examples of symbolism associated with fish are the motifs of a pair of fish, and a carp. A pair of fish is the symbol of connubial bliss and hence appears often on ceramics, textiles and anything associated with a wedding. The carp, because it swims upstream against the current to lay its eggs, is the symbol of perseverance. Accordingly, on the 5th May each year, for the boys' festival, huge carp made of paper or cloth, are attached to poles outside each household that contains a boy, as an auspicious allusion to this perseverance.

Hattori was inspired to do this print after musing if there could be such a tree as a fish plant. In her use of bright colours and fairy-tale characters she seems to be drawing on the popular culture of children's books, cartoons and the mass marketing of the cute ('kawai'), to create her delightful equivalent of a money tree.

Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 32.


Details


Alternative title

Gyosô


Place where the work was made

Japan


Period

Heisei period 1989 - → Japan


Date

1991


Media category

Print


Materials used

lithograph


Edition

A.P.


Dimensions

60.0 x 80.0 cm image; 65.0 x 85.0 cm sheet


Signature & date

Signed l.r., pencil "Kumiko". Not dated.


Credit

Gift of the artist 1993


Location

Not on display


Accession number

419.1993


Artist information

HATTORI Kumiko

Works in the collection

1


Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, cover (colour illus.), 32, 38 (colour illus.). cat.no. 14