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Title

Fish plant

1991

Artist

Kumiko Hattori

Japan

1960 –

No image
  • 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
    Kumiko Hattori

    Works in the collection

    1

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  • 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.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Japan

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication