Hundreds of years ago fishermen in Japan developed a form of printing fish to immortalise them, to show their friends the size and species of fish they were catching and to bring themselves luck by preserving the image of the fish for eternity.
They took brushes, inks and Unryu rice paper to sea to capture the images of the fish they were catching, Gyo means fish in Japanese and Taku means impression.
This basic printing method of rubbing the inked fish with handmade rice paper was a means of recording trophy catches before being sold for consumption, it was also a means of recording revered fish which were then cleaned of the non toxic ink, before being released alive, back into the sea.
In the mid 18th century these basic crude prints were beginning to be embellished later with finer detail and colour, to resemble the fish, in all of its beauty as it was caught at sea, as I continue to do so today.
This became a popular form of art in Japan and skilful printers and painters were commissioned by the Emperor’s of Japan to record catches to embellish the walls of the palaces and temples in celebration of the beauty of fish.
Each picture here is a hand made original, the initial print from the fish being the first process in this elaborate recording, the later added colour and finer detail also defines the originality, and individuality of each piece of work, none are the same, each work takes some considerable time in completion.
All fish used in this process have been locally and sustainably sourced.
Original works can be purchased at this gallery, and also editions of prints can also be purchased online on our website. private commissions are also accepted, let me immortalise your catch !