Koi carp are considered auspicious by the Chinese. These fish have such a powerful and energetic life force that allows them to swim against currents and travel upstream. The koi symbolise prosperity, longevity, and perseverance. Legend has it that when Confucius had a son in 533 BC he was presented with a magoy (black carp) by King Shoko of Ro, and all modern day koi are descended from this special magoy. The koi was also raised in Chinese rice paddy fields as an important food source.


In creating my koi prints I thought about the sinuous lines and movement of the fish through the water, having observed them for hours in a beautiful ornamental pond in a Beijing hotel. I also took inspiration from the Chinese traditional painting style, which accentuates the curve of the tail and stylises the body shape.

“Koi 3”

Hand-inked monoprint, 1/1