- Alternative title
- Place where the work was made
- Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
- Media category
- Materials used
- 60.0 x 80.0 cm image; 65.0 x 85.0 cm sheet
- Signature & date
Signed l.r., pencil "Kumiko". Not dated.
- Gift of the artist 1993
- Not on display
- Accession number
- Artist information
Works in the collection
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.
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
The Urban Bonsai, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992
The Urban Bonsai, National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington, 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992
The Urban Bonsai, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992
The Urban Bonsai, Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand, 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993
The Urban Bonsai, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993
The Urban Bonsai, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993
The Urban Bonsai, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains, 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994
The Urban Bonsai, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994
The Urban Bonsai, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994
The Urban Bonsai, Bank Art Museum Moree, Moree, 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994
The Urban Bonsai, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah, 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995
Referenced in 1 publication
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, cover (colour illus.), 32, 38 (colour illus.). cat.no. 14