Middle schoolers recently explored and participated in the Japanese art form of “Gyotaku,” or fish printing. Students first learned how this art form originated in 19th Century Japan, where fishermen would paint their fish and make a print onto paper in order to document their more impressive catches. Students then looked into how these same prints are being used today by scientists to document how fish populations have changed over the years.
Finally, students learned the fish printing process first hand by painting ink onto real fish, and pressing down paper on the fish to make a print.
When finished, students hand painted the eye directly onto the paper, and signed their artwork using a “chop” or personalized stamp dipped into red ink. It was a fun combination of art, science and history, and the prints turned out incredibly well!
These fish prints were also used to create the 6th grade collaborative poster that is available for purchase as part of the Shindig Silent Auction.