Nishikigoi - 芸 (“gei”, art), 2015
Stainless Stell Polished & Carved , Painted And Varnished, 40 x 62 x 47 cm
About the artwork
Hiro Ando’s Nishikigoi creates a dialogue between past and present Japanese culture, by recontextualising the Japanese goldfish, one of the country’s icons and symbol of prosperity. Traditional Japan is viewed through young eyes in this work, as Ando conflates the refinery of tradition with the kitsch of modernity. This achieved through elements such as the unexpected neon pink colour of the fish, as well as the bold carvings on its body, which feature the character 芸 ("gei"), which means art in Japanese. The work is a prime example of Ando's signature neo-pop aesthetic, in which he creates a unique sculpture that literally, personifies art.
About the artist
Acquiring his degree from the University of Art, Hiro Ando began his prolific career in 1995 in Tokyo, depicting its nighttime urban landscape. With a lot of inspiration, the streets proved to be an endless source of material for his narratives which often included the red fish in addition to the urban background. The act of the red fish in his paintings greatly reminds of the ancient Japanese watercolor paintings, thus making his work permeated with both a contemporary and traditional feeling. With his artistic beginnings tied to illustration, he would draw several sketches before actually working on the canvas, and his practice has since spread to video material, digital support, and sculpture.