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Koi Art Why We Love (And You Should, Too!) you need to know

koi art chinese koi art painting

famous koi fish artist

Two Carp fan painting by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)

Katsushika Hokusai was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and
printmaker of the Edo period.

Born in Edo, Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

koi art leaping carp
photo from katsushikahokusai.org

“Carp” (1884) by Chinese artist Qi Baishi

Qi Baishi was a Chinese painter, noted for the whimsical, often
playful style of his watercolor works.

Born to a peasant family from Xiangtan, Hunan, Qi became a carpenter at 14, and learned to paint by himself. Wikipedia

Oniwakamaru preparing to kill a giant carp”
by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)

Biography written by 

Author:
Dieter Wanczura of www.artelino.com

Kuniyoshi Utagawa was born in 1797 in Edo (died April 14, 1861). Information about the childhood of Kuniyoshi is a bit in the mist. His father was a silk-dyer and the given name of the boy was Yoshisaburo.

The young Yoshisaburo apparently developed a passion for drawing at a very early age.

At the age of 14, he joined the famous Utagawa school, then headed
by the great master ukiyo-e Toyokuni Utagawa (1769 – 1825). According to other sources, he had been trained by Katsukawa Shuntei before.

Toyokuni gave his talented student Yoshisaburo the name Kuniyoshi.

At that time it was the habit, that a student who had entered an art
school, received a new artist name that was connected to the master’s name.

The name was created from the ending kuni of Toyokuni and the
beginning of the boy’s name Yoshisaburo – thus we had Kuniyoshi Utagawa.

After having left the Utagawa School, Kuniyoshi had a tough time to make a living as an ukiyo-e artist. He was even forced to earn his living by repairing and selling floor-mats. learn more 

japanese koi art history

The history of the Japanese Koi fish is not commonly known to even the … from then on the fish became the subject of much Chinese artwork.

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koi art

Koi art Some of the most famous and recognizable Chinese and Japanese koi art artwork is that of the carp.

Most Asian art enthusiasts are familiar with koi fish paintings and
ukiyo-e woodblock prints, as well as the koi art artwork it has inspired around the world.

And most people have seen the famous nishikigoi (錦鯉), or koi fish in many kinds of pictures and koi art!

But did you know the history behind this koi art artwork?

Do you know that koi fish is important to the Chinese and Japanese people?

NOTE: The word ‘koi’ used in the West to describe the variety of carp the Japanese call ‘nishikigoi’.

In Japan, the word ‘koi’ means ‘carp’ in general and used for all the
different species of koi fish, particularly wild carp.

In this hub, I’ll use the term ‘koi’ to describe the koi fish and koi art
about it and carp for everything else under the sun.

Information about the Asian Carp

A carp is a type of freshwater fish that can found in most areas of the
world (except the Middle East, the poles, and eastern Europe.

There are some carp species around the world, and there are both
wild and domesticated versions of every species.

The common carp seen in the Chinese and Japanese
paintingsbelieved to have originated in China and brought to Japan
at some point.

There are some carp species and subspecies, and many of these can found in both China and Japan.

koi art

The nishikigoi carp, which is what most Westerners call ‘koi’ or ‘koi
fish’, is an ornamental variety of domesticated carp which was first bred in Ojiya,

Niigata Prefecture, Japan, in the 1820s. There are now many varieties of koi which have exported and bred around the world.

Chinese koi fish art

koi art chinese koi art painting
If you want to purchase this koi fish  painting click here 

China is the ancestral home of carp art, and where koi and
traditional Japanese carp art (especially the early paintings) draws much of its inspiration.

To the Chinese people, the carp is a symbol of perseverance, strength, and endurance.

In many Chinese folktales, the carp considered an incarnation of
the dragon that brings happiness and wealth to those whose path it crosses.

Also, with its long whiskers and scales, the carp said to resemble a dragon.

This is the legend of the koi fish who turns into a dragonhttps://www.giobelkoicenter.com/koi-fish-transforming-into-a-dragon-2017/

In fact, one of the most popular Chinese carp motifs is a carp(s)
swimming toward a waterfall and transforming into a dragon.

This motif based on an ancient Chinese legend about carp who
swim upstream in the Yellow River toward the mythical Dragon’s
Gate at the top of a giant legendary mountain.

Those few carp who swim up the waterfall and through the gate changed into dragons.

To this day there exists a saying in China: “lǐ​ yú​ tiào​ lóng ​mén” (“鲤鱼跳龙门”), or “The carp has leaped through the dragon’s gate.

” This saying is often used for students who pass their university
exams, or people in general who work hard at a task and succeed beyond their wildest expectations.

Some other common carp motifs in Chinese art include yin yang
carp (with a black and red carp forming the two sides of the yin
yang symbol), carp swimming among lotus flowers (a sacred
Buddhist symbol that represents mental harmony), and a group of
nine carp (with nine considered a lucky number by the Chinese) swimming together.

The carp can found in many kinds of Chinese artwork, including
scroll paintings, ink paintings, ceramics, and more.

Japanese Koi Art koi fish painting

 koi art koi fish painting feng shui
If you want to purchase this koi art koi fish painting click here 

Japan is the one country from where koi art has spread around the world.
Paintings and pictures of carp – in particular the koi carp – have
been made by artists and photographers in Japan and around the world.

In Japan, the carp represents good luck and good fortune. Also, the word ‘koi’ (鯉) pronounced the same as another word (‘恋’) meaning love and affection.

The Chinese legend of the Dragon’s Gate is also well-known in
Japan and the same motif of carp swimming up a waterfall is also common in Japan.

This motif can found in many the famous ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

Also to the carp swimming upstream, a carp swimming downstream can also found in Japanese art.

This carp said to have achieved its life goals while the one
swimming upstream and toward the Dragon’s Gate is still trying to make its dream come true.

Carp paintings made before the advent of ukiyo-e in the Edo
period showed a carp swimming in its natural environment in full color.

Many of these paintings were no doubt inspired by the Chinese carp paintings.

When ukiyo-e became popular, the carp became a popular subject
for the artists to depict in their prints.

Many of the ukiyo-e masters such as Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa
Kuniyoshi, and Kitao Masayoshi depicted the carp in its gracefulness and glory.

Many Japanese carp paintings also have a strong Buddhist connotation.

Some carp swimming in the ocean are symbolic of people
swimming through the “ocean of suffering” as a fish swims in the sea. Others reflect the Zen quality of finding peace in the moment by observing the carp.

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Explore Giobelkoicenter board “Koi Art” on
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creative use of canvas to placement fish

The Koi fish in Japanese Mythology

Photo from http://artmight.comhttp://artmight.com/Country/Japanese/Kuniyoshi-The-Giant-Carp-50545p.html

The koi has appeared in some Japanese folktales and legends, and
some of these legends have depicted in koi fish painting.

Two ancient Japanese legends about koi fish that depicted in ukiyo-
e are the stories of the “golden boy” Kintarō wrestling the giant koi
fish and Oniwakamaru (the future Musashibo Benkei) finding and
killing at Bishimon Waterfall the giant carp that ate his mother.

Both depicted by ukiyo-e artists such as Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Gyotaku Fish Prints


One of the most unique forms of art to come out of Japan is the gyotaku fish print.

Gyotaku is a form of art where a live fish rubbed in ink and stamped on paper to make an art print.

It is one that has spread beyond Japan and across the world.

Gyotaku created by Japanese fishermen during the 1800s as a way
to record their catches and display them for the world to see.

After a while, regular people and artists began to catch on to this art form and it became popular.

Koi are one of the most popular species of fish used for this form of
art, but rubber fish are becoming more and more popular nowadays.

The movements of the fish captured on paper are what makes this art form so unique.

Modern-Day Koi Art digital painting 

The popularity of koi art has exploded across the world in recent decades.

The orange and white koi that most Westerners know has depicted
in pictures, paintings, posters, computer screensavers, mousepads, and more.

Many of the designs of the koi paintings based on the ancient
Chinese and Japanese koi fish paintings, and others have created
using modern-day technology such as computer vector graphics
and digital photography or digital painting

Koi paintings and pictures are also very popular feng shui décor, and all-around nice pictures to look at! Since the koi is a very
beautiful, relaxing fish to look at and has much symbolism attached
to it, it’s only natural that it would be perfect for a feng shui-
oriented home environment or someone who wants a good picture to help them relax.

In China and Japan, koi fish and koi art are as common and popular
as in the West nowadays, but there are still artists who paint carp
paintings (both regular and koi carp paintings) in the classical way.

You can buy my koi art digital koi fish painting at my Etsy store.https://www.etsy.com/shop/giobelkoicenter

Digital koi fish painting koi art feng shui
digitall paint replica of original oil painting, printed on premium artist canvas.

Framed/stretched ready to hang. Gallery wrapped, sides painted.
Feng Shui koi fish painting koi art work used to bring Feng Shui
luck and fortune by harnessing the life energy of “Chi”, or the “Dragon’s Cosmic Breath”.

Chi brings good fortune to those who surrounded by it.
The koi fish brings luck and wealth.

Koi fish paintings represent harmony and balance. Feng Shui fish paintings are the element of Water and bring Feng Shui fortune. Koi paintings are for home and office Feng Shui décor.

koi fish tattoo koi art

koi art

Besides to koi art, koi (and regular carp) tattoo designs have become popular all around the world.

Many people get very elaborate and beautiful koi tattoo designs
that have all the traditional attributes of the carp, as well as personal
meaning for the person tattooed.

Some of the traditional designs of koi swimming amidst lotuses,
bleeding koi, koi swimming in water, and koi swimming upstream
or up a waterfall are some of the designs many people have chosen for their koi fish tattoo.

check out koi fish color meaning chart for the koi fish meaning colors

koi fish drawing

How to draw koi fish koi art from wedrawanimals.com

Step 1: Let’s draw a koi fish! Start by drawing a semi-circle for the head.

golden lotus flower symbolism in koi art chinese calligraphy painting

koi fish painting golden lotus flower chinese calligraphy painting

Lotus Flower & Koi Fish Feng Shui Painting: ????symbolize that
your get big benefits in business year after year.

(In China lotus sounds the same as the word “year (?)”. )

golden lotus flower symbolism

In Buddhist symbolism the lotus is symbolic of purity of the body,
speech, and mind as while rooted in the mud, its flowers blossom
on long stalks as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire.

In Egyptian iconography, the sun bursts from the open blossom. It is the archetypal vulva.

In Hinduism as in Buddhism, the lotus is associated with the birth of divine beings. …

In Buddhism, the lotus represents purity because its flower rises
above the vase like the Enlightened One above the world.

You can buy this koi fish painting chinese calligraphy painting with goldend lotus flower here 

Chinese Traditional Painting

koi art chinese calligraphy step by step koi fish painting

sources www.artofsilk.com

Chinese traditional painting is often known as Chinese ink and
wash painting (水墨画) because of the materials and technique used.

Traditionally, only black and white were used, but over time artists
added red, orange, green and other colors.

Because of the simplicity of their form and elegance on paper, koi
became a popular subject for this style of painting.

There are seven essential steps to painting a koi in the ink-and-wash style.

First, the body is painted, then the tail is added.

The third step is to paint the head, the mouth and the eyes.

The next step is to paint the scales on the body of the fish.

The fifth step is to add the fins, followed by the painting of the spine and other details of the koi. learn more here

japanese koi art

The cultivation of koi for decorative use originated in Japan, so it is
in the Japanese artistic tradition that we see the most variety in koi depictions.

In the Japanese language, the word “koi” is a homophone for
another word that means “affection” or “love”; therefore the fish
itself has come to represent these concepts.

It is regarded as the “divine fish”, associated with heavenly matters
and spreading happiness and prosperity wherever it swims.

Because of their rich and varied coloration, koi are known as “living
jewels” and are used to enhance a variety of household, religious
and purely artistic ornaments.

Koi flags

In Japanese mythology, koi are often associated with children, who
are much celebrated and beloved.

As a result, parents and grandparents hang colorful flags that
resemble koi outside their homes to attract blessions for the younger generation.

This tradition is traditionally associated with Boy’s Day (Tango no
Sekku) a Japanese holiday venerating the place of children in society .

Koi are thought of as symbols for male virility and strength, so it is
natural that they serve as a representation for the qualities most sought in boys.

It is said that if a koi is caught, it will lie still beneath the knife,
facing its death bravely like a brave Samurai facing a sword. Parents hope their sons will face their destinies with equal stoicism.

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