Japanese Koi Fish Represent Love and Friendship

October 07, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

This Spring I took a wonderful inspiring class in Sedona by collage artist, Elizabeth St. Hillaire. This training inspired we to incorporate mixed media into my artwork and I believe is adding more dimension, depth, interest into my work.  For my first piece, I decided to create a canvas of koi fish.

As a result of the Sedona course I started creating abstract pieces of paper that are later used to build the collage but that are beautiful enough to be considered paintings of their own. The focus on paper reminded me of the ancient Japanese art of origami which uses colorful paper to make paper sculptures. This similarity of art from paper inspired me on the koi fish subject matter as koi are also originally from Japan.

In doing my research on koi fsh, I learned some interesting facts about the fish themselves:

  • Koi can reach up to 3 ft in length!
  • These beautiful fish come in a variety of colors – white, black, blue, cream, yellow and orange and are covered in an assortment of spots
  • Koi fish can recognize the person which feeds them and they can be trained to eat from his/her hand.
  • Koi fish usually lives between 25 and 30 years. When it is kept under good conditions, koi fish can survive for more than 100 years, some up to 200 years!

Even more interesting to me was the symbolism behind Koi fish: According to Japanese culture Koi fish represent love and friendship. And Owners who receive their koi fish as a gift are believed to receive good luck. In fact, often koi are passed down from generation to generation.

So if you are looking for a good gift for a loved one, this koi painting will be the perfect thoughtful gesture!


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