GyoTaku: a bit of background history

Gyo: fish, Taku: print.

Carmen Ruiz, a visual artist working in photography, graphic design, drawing, and printmaking. As a GyoTaku artist, Carmen made her first fish print in 1991 and she was hooked!!!

GyoTaku is a Japanese term used as a general expression for the direct method of obtaining a print or impression of a fish. The oldest GyoTaku now in existence was made in 1862 and it is housed at the Homma Museum in Sakata, Yamagata, Japan.

Technically a monoprint, this traditional practice that dates back to the 1800's is a printmaking method that has been widely used in the Orient to capture a true record -or documentation- of a fish caught in a contest.

Today, GyoTaku is practiced to obtain an artistic representation of a fish. The GyoTaku realistic results are accomplished by applying ink directly on the fish and then using the fish as a printing block. Carmen uses a seashell from the sea of Japan along with the Japanese words for GyoTaku as her "chops" -or signature- and registered mark.

Carmen's one-of-a-kind GyoTaku fish prints are made with non-toxic inks and they are printed on 100% cottons.

Once done printing with a fish, she washes off the inks and buries it in the garden.

Carmen's GyoTaku fish prints are machine washable. Enjoy!

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inking the fish