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There are a large number of written characters in the Chinese language, but a smaller amount of spoken sounds. Shared sounds led to the creation of puns, whereby animals and objects became visual symbols for other unrelated meanings. The character for fish sounds the same as the character for “more”, so fish are a common motif in Chinese culture to denote abundance and plenty. Koi carp can swim against currents and are revered as a symbol of perseverance, success and longevity.

This small edition of only twenty little blue fish was printed from a hand-cut collage plate, inspired by the stylised depiction of koi carp in traditional Chinese painting. People who have bought these prints say they hang them on their wall as a kind of talisman.

蓝色的小鱼, ‘Little blue fish’

Hand-inked collagraph print

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