<b>FLYING FISHES</b><i> / Bakafu Ohno<br>1938<br><br>$4,000

<b>FLYING FISHES</b><i> / Bakafu Ohno<br>1938<br><br>$4,000


ARTIST: Bakafu Ohno (1888-1976)

TITLE: Flying Fishes (Tobiuo)

SERIES: Familiar Fishes of Japan

MEDIUM: Woodblock

DATE: 1938

DIMENSIONS: 11 x 15 5/8 inches

CONDITION: Excellent; no problems to note—tipped onto original presentation mat; not framed

LITERATURE: Reita Hirase, Akira Tomita, Hiroko Shimizu, Art Portfolio of Fishes by Bakufu Ohno, 2013, pl. 58

$ 4,000.00

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Ohno Bakafu is celebrated for his meticulous representation of marine life; this design, however, seems more aligned with the world of dreams than the reality of the fisherman’s daily catch. In the print, Ohno creates a stylized dreamlike background with beautiful swirls of breaking waves as flying fish emerge from the water’s depth, cloaked in night, to glide above the ocean surface. The artist has added hand-applied gofun around the design suggesting the splatter of sparkling seafoam in moonlight. The fishes' fins are adorned with silver mica adding a heightened sense of drama when the print is viewed in close proximity.

Connoisseur's Note

In Ohno Bakafu's two-part series, Fishes of Japan, the artist utilized the top artisans, production techniques, and materials to produce some of the most lavish woodblocks prints of the Shin Hanga era. The uses of mica in the wings, hand applied gofun on the water as well as beautifully blended saturated tones of blue and gray help make this print one of Ohno’s most sought-after designs. This print is tipped onto its original presentation mat but is not in the original folder. It is important to note that Ohno's original folders were highly acidic and tragically their inhospitable environment caused damage to the vast majority of the prints. This work was removed fairly early from its folder and never framed or exposed to prolonged periods of light, causing it to be in a pristine state of preservation and to appear as fresh and vibrant as the day it was printed.