“Gyotaku Prints: Sand Perch” is an exhibition of prints created by St. Thomas University students, faculty and staff during a Gyotaku Printing Workshop presented by Jaclyn Dematzo of the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in honor of Asian Heritage Month.
The “Gyotaku Prints: Sand Perch” exhibit opens Dec. 2, at 11 a.m., in the Main Library, and will remain on display through the end of January.
Gyotaku (fish rubbing) is the traditional Japanese method of printing fish, which came about before the advent of photography, when fishermen were looking for a way to record the size and species of their catch. After reeling in their catch, fishermen would coat one side of the fish with ink, cover it with rice-straw paper, and then gently rub in a circular motion until an impression was made. Afterward, they would wash off the non-toxic ink so the fish could be sold.
Although Gyotaku is a time-honored Japanese tradition, many artists around the world incorporate this technique in many of their works.