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Gyotaku Workshop w/ Desmond Thain || $75

Saturday, July 17, 2021 || 4:30PM - 6:30PM

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Gyotaku Workshop w/ Desmond Thain || $75
Gyotaku Workshop w/ Desmond Thain || $75

Time & Location

Jul 17, 2021, 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM HST

Friends & Faire, 1980 Main St #4, Wailuku, HI 96793, USA


About The Event

Come join us at Friends & Faire and learn the beautiful art of Gyotaku - Japanese fish printing with local Hawaii artist Desmond Thain. In this interactive, hands-on workshop, you’ll learn the basics of how to print the fish. The print is quickly made while the fish is still cool. The black print captures the details and shape on Washi paper. You’ll then add color with acrylic inks. The final step includes painting the eyes to bring the fish back to life.  The workshop will also consist of basic gyotaku techniques, including the do's and don’ts, tips and tricks, and how to prepare the fish so that it can still be enjoyed afterward. 

All materials are included and the workshop will be held at Friends & Faire at 1980 Main st. #4 Wailuku, HI 96793 (Behind Native Intelligence- free parking available).  BYO beer or wine to sip on and food toth enjoy while you get creative! (21 and over).  Per request of the instructor, PPE masks are required to be worn during the workshop and COVID vaccination cards are also required to attend.

Artist's Bio: During the 1800s Japanese fishermen recorded their catch by rubbing fish with sumi ink and then pressing them onto washi paper. Two centuries later, gyotaku, or fish printing has evolved into its own distinctive art form. For Hawaiʻi-based Desmond Katsutaro Thain, gyotaku became a natural fit: the historic tradition intertwines two of his passions—spearfishing and art.     

Although Thain grew up in both Japan and on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, it is in the ocean where he continues to feel the most at home. As a child, if he wasn’t on a mat training in wrestling and jiu jitsu, he could be found exploring his hometown waters off Waikīkī or in the local library studying marine life reference books. As a young adult, he took up spearfishing. Not long after, he printed his own first gyotaku, a fantail uhu.     

Today Thain specializes in fine art gyotaku with a strong emphasis on hyper-realism and exquisite coloration. Depending on the size or intricacies of pattern of a featured fish, a piece can take hundreds of hours to complete. He also utilizes non-toxic ink so that post-printing, the fish can be consumed.     

As a self-taught artist and spearfisherman of Japanese-American descent, Thain is honored to continue the historic tradition of gyotaku. A Thain piece is special in that the artist’s involvement is present in myriad levels—from the hunting of the fish, to the printing, to the subsequent consuming so that there is no waste. Thain considers his method a full-circle approach to art—a seamless combination of art and culture, athleticism and awareness.


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