Contemporary Japanese Prints, Handmade Ceramics & Jewelry, Japanese Antiques, California Artists & Sculptors

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DEWEES Christopher

Christopher DEWEES
Born: 1946, San Francisco
Medium: Gyotaku, or fish printing

Chris was first introduced to the specialized medium of fish printing in 1968, just as he was preparing to graduate with a B.S. degree from the University of the Redlands. Since then he has continued to pursue his understanding of the printing process, and the fish themselves. In academics, he has earned an M.S. in Fisheries from Humbolt State University, and a Ph.D. in Ecology at UC Davis. Currently he is a marine fisheries specialist at Davis, serving as a link between the University of California and the state's commercial and recreational fishing industries.

Chris has earned recognition worldwide for his mastery of gyotaku (literally, fish rubbing). The process involves using actual fish and shellfish. Inks are applied directly to a cleaned, well dried fish. Handmade papers are then placed over the fish, and the ink is transferred by gently rubbing with one's fingers. Only the eye is handpainted. The artist's han, or 'chop' is the Japanese character for 'orphan' or 'lonely one', which is the Dutch meaning of Dewees.

The prints that come from Chris's studio are delicate and refined renditions, retaining the accuracy of a scientific illustration, while evoking a strong sense of artistic design and subtlety in placement and configuration.


Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
Gyotaku no Kai, Tokyo
Davis, California
Point Reyes
The Ren Brown Collection, Bodega Bay


President Francois Mitterand, Paris
Dr. Thomas Thompson, Orinda
Dr. Reed Enos, Davis

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