all photos by Dominic Alves (installation view at ICN Gallery) | click to enlarge
What you’re looking are not actual goldfish preserved in some sort of embalming fluid. Instead, they are 3-dimensional fish that rise up from the surface through a process of: 1) a single layer of paint 2) a single layer of resin 3) repeat. (scroll to the bottom to see a video of the process)
The goldfish, writes Fukahori, was my salvation.
The goldfish holds a very special place in the heart of any child who’s ever been to a matsuri (street festival) in Japan. Kingyo-sukui is the game of “goldfish scooping” and is a staple of any summer street festival, along with the masks, water balloon yo-yos, fireworks and yummy food.
But for artist Riusuke Fukahori, the goldfish was not just a relic of long-lost childhood. As he painfully lay in his room one night, struggling and suffering, about to give up on his art, he looked over and saw a goldfish. His neglected fish of 7 years sputtered about in a cesspool of mold and feces – a common fate endured by most festival souvenirs.
Fukahori felt a shiver run down his spine. What he suddenly saw was a beautiful animal, glowing in bright red, living and surviving. The artist pulled out his paint and set to work, immediately triggering some sort of chemical reaction in his brain. Fukahori had looked far and wide – in Europe, the U.S. and Japan – for his muse. But in an instantaneous form of enlightenment he knew that all along it was right there in his room, inside that dirty fish tank. The goldfish, writes Fukahori, was my salvation.
And did you know, with a little help from the grammar gods, Kingyo-sukui (金魚すくい), the festivities of goldfish scooping, can also be read 金魚救い- goldfish salvation.