The koi is not only a wonderful creature, it is also a tattoo motive of the Asiatic Irezumi style favoured world-wide. Where does this fascination for the koi originate and what is the symbolical significance of this carp?
A TALISMAN THAT CAN LIVE FOR UP TO 70 YEARS
The koi is attributed a long life, can grow up to 90 cm in size and live for 70 years. In China and Japan, where for instance, it decorates wedding gifts and porcelain, it is regarded as the talisman par excellence. In traditional Japanese tattoo art the koi, in addition to the dragon, has an outstanding status. The spectrum of the Irezumi tattoo style particularly encompasses highly symbolic animals, folk heroes, Buddhist and plant motives, like the typical cherry blossoms that are almost always part of Japanese tattoos. In Japanese tattoo art it’s not necessarily the single subject that counts – it’s the harmony of the whole. And for this reason the koi cannot be omitted.
STRENGTH AND DETERMINATION
The well-known, colourful kois – also known as ‘swimming jewels’ – are creatures of Asian legend and represent much more than luck and success. The koi is a strong swimmer and overcomes differences in elevation with ease. This makes it a symbol of strength, determination and ambition.
THE IREZUMI FINE ARTS: KOI – A DECLARATION OF LOVE FOR TATTOO ART
André Clémençon watches, with a completely hand-painted koi on the mother-of-pearl face, are a homage to Japanese tattoo art and to these mythical creatures, and are a fitting example of how traditional handcraft and Far Eastern art combine to produce jewellery impossible to imitate.