Goldfish Salvation

Goldfish Salvation is the name of the debut London exhibition by Riusuke Fukahori at the ICN gallery in London.

Riusuke Fukahori at the ICN gallery

(Riusuke Fukahori with Quadra Tea)

I went along last Saturday to find out what it was all about, and to witness Fukahori’s “live painting”.

Born in Aichi, Fukahori is a graduate of Aichi Prefectual University of Fine Arts and Music. In 2000, while struggling with a low point in his career, Fukahori suddenly became inspired by his goldfish. Looking down into the dirty water of the abandoned tank, Fukahori became captivated by the beauty of the goldfish and its movements. Thus, Goldfish Salvation was born. Along with a fascination for his aquatic friends, Fukahorui also developed a new artistic technique using acrylic painted on clear resin poured into containers. The result is what appears to be three-dimensional goldfish swimming around in sake cups, tea boxes, and even a large sushi rice bowl.

Goldfish Salvation exhibition

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Goldfish Salvation exhibition

When I spoke to Fukahori and asked “why goldfish?”, his response was delightfully enthusiastic. It was clear that all the inspiration he had been lacking had somehow burst forth from this one old pet of his. He excitedly described how he experimented with the resin and acrylic, and developed this new technique. Since this Eureka moment, goldfish have been Fukahori’s sole focus.

Goldfish sake: Bright red Phoenix

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Goldfish Salvation exhibition

I will keep searching for the motivation for my activities as an artist and my identity through goldfish. While salvaged and suffered by goldfish, I will live with goldfish and stare at myself further.” – Riusuke Fukahori

Ai

On Saturday afternoon in the December cold, quite a large bunch of people, including myself, stood outside the ICN gallery and watched Fukahori paint one of his beloved goldfish on the gallery window. It was a slow but fascinating process, where layers upon layers of colours were painted on top of each other, finishing up with a white-ish fish swimming across the glass.

Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

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Live painting by Riusuke Fukahori

The whole exhibition and experience of watching Fukahori’s live painting made me recall a story I knew in my childhood. The story, if I remember correctly, was about a greedy princess who wanted a fish of every colour. However, the more fish she got, the more their colours merged together as they swam. Eventually, all she could see was a white blur. As I watched the colours of the fish on the window disappearing under the wash of white strokes, I felt privileged to have seen the beauty within.

The ICN gallery is on Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH, and is open 12:00 – 19:00 (closed between 23rd December and 3rd January). Goldfish Salvation is on until 11th January. For more information, please visit the ICN gallery’s website or Fukahori’s website (in Japanese).

4 thoughts on “Goldfish Salvation

  1. i just heard about mr. fukahori’s work today and have been searching the web trying to find more about him. thanks for the great post! i love looking at all the photos. i wish i could see the exhibit in person. :]

    Like

  2. Hi, I’ve been looking for info on what kind of resin Fukahori uses. I use clear resin in furniture making, but would love to know what is used in this process, as he uses so much! Thanks for any info!

    Like

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