Layer upon layer of clear, high-performance nonyellowing epoxy resin cover three- dimensional figures of goldfish painted incrementally in acrylics. The finished works cast stunning natural shadows, shimmering beneath the surface as though they were alive. These are the renowned works of goldfish artist Riusuke Fukahori.

Though he is now so famous that his name is almost synonymous with goldfish both in Japan and overseas, when Fukahori first left art school he had no interest in goldfish at all. “When I was little I saw goldfish as somewhat uncool, not really a fitting subject for art. I was born near the city of Yatomi, where there were a lot of goldfish farms, so I suspect there were just too many of them around. Back then the Japanese tended to be in awe of anything foreign, and I confess that I, too, found tropical fish far sexier. I’ve always had an interest in creatures that live in water, though. Human beings can’t survive underwater. For animals like these, however, underwater is home; in fact, without water they die. One side and the other, with the water’s surface forming the boundary: The more I thought about it, the more it intrigued me as a theme.”

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