Artist: Deep Hawaii Art
Title: "Benʻs Infinity" Gyotaku
Medium: Original gyotaku - acrylic paint and Prismacolors on rice paper
Size: 29" x 61" (paper size)
Lāna`i artist Kristin Belew painstakingly painted this "inifinity" image using 10 Zebra-head flagtail fish.
Gyotaku is a traditional Japanese style of fish printing where each original piece of art is taken right from the fish. Kristin applies acrylic paint to the actual fish then presses rice paper onto the specimen to receive the paint. She then paints in details!
The infinity symbol represents endlessness, limitless, abundance or boundlessness. I loved the idea behind this piece, but it was not my own. The credit all goes to our friend and neighbor Ben who supplied the fish and requested his idea be put to paper. This was one of the hardest pieces I have created so far. Each fish had to be painted, blotted and then pinned into its perfect location. There was only one chance to lay the paper perfectly and press each fish without any smears or accidents. We always work quickly to ensure the fish stay cool and remain safe to eat. Kacy and I were able to create one single raw print of this amazing idea and I was able to complete this piece to commemorate an awesome catch, and represent nature's abundance. The fish that create this piece are most likely Zebra-head flagtails (Kuhlia sandvicensis) or aholehole in Hawaiian. There are 2 species found in Hawaii that are almost identical. These aholehole were part of a school caught by throw net which is a traditional Hawaiian form of fishing. The circular net is weighted on the ends and thrown in a way that traps multiple fish beneath it. Ben was taught by his grandfather how to throw net and how to make and repair his own nets. He is now passing this tradition down to his children and he and his daughter caught these fish during a special trip together!