Gyotaku: The Rest of the Story

A skilled and creative practitioner of the Japanese art of Gyotaku (fish rubbing), artist Bruce Koike has always been drawn to the aquatic environment. Since 1985, he has printed over 150 different species of aquatic animals using this traditional Japanese art form. Koike is a self-taught artist whose compositions are unique in that they depict fish behaviors or habitat as well as physical details of the specimen.

The prints are compelling and beautiful, but the backstories describing how and where the artist got the actual specimens turns out to be equally fascinating. In this exhibit, Koike describes how he acquired these specimens. Focusing on his stories of acquisition deepens our understanding of the full process and commitment required by an artist to create a Gyotaku print. Here in Koike’s own words is the rest of the story.