Workshop no. 27: Impressions of Nature: Japanese Gyotaku Fish Printing with Michael Reimer
On June 15th, 2019 an intimate group of art lovers gathered at the Rikumo Concept Store for a special demonstration of Gyotaku fish printing by the artist Michael Reimer. During his two hour presentation, Michael taught our guests about the origins and prominent styles of gyotaku, demonstrated each step of the process on a “Lookdown” that he had prepared, and guided everyone as they tried it themselves. See photos from our event below!
In an attempt to settle debates and confirm, once and for all, who was the greatest fisherman, Japanese anglers and samurai in the mid-1800s began making ink prints of their catch. Over time, this practice took on a life of its own as an established artform called gyotaku (gyo meaning fish, and taku meaning rubbing or impression). As Michael explained in his demonstration, gyotaku is a subsection in the broader category of nature printing. Nature printers use similar methods to create unique prints of plants, leaves, seeds, and other wonders of nature.
You can learn more about gyotaku in this fascinating video from Ted Ed:
WORDS BY SAM GEAN
PHOTOS BY KAZ MORIHATA