Two years ago, a group of Japanese artists shared a table at the Guild Show in Teaneck, New Jersey where I was also a dealer. I’m usually pretty quick, relatively speaking, in setting up my table, and when I finish, I love to take a walk around the sales room and see what other people are showing. I stopped short at that shared table, amazed to see the incredibly lifelike miniature aquariums by Miyuki Kobayashi. It was her first showing in the U.S. and she had spread out a selection of her work, meticulously crafted and painted tropical fish, in settings as elaborate as the tank shown here, featuring clown fish swimming among brightly colored corals, or as simple as the generic enameled bowl with a single bug-eyed goldfish in it.
Several times during the evening, when I could sneak away from my table for a minute, I would head back over to snap up another piece. I was enchanted and couldn’t help but tell everyone who stopped to talk to me-have you seen the incredible aquariums over there? Of course, she sold out, and left in no doubt that her work was very much appreciated over here. The following year, Miyuki successfully applied to become an Artisan member of the Guild and this year she attended Guild School for the first time. There Miyuki gave a seminar on how she makes the fish and assembles the aquariums. It was fun to learn, but I think I’ll be content to buy them already made.
Miyuki will be one of the many wonderful dealers at the Guild Show this September, with a table to herself this time. And I’ve no doubt the reception will be just as appreciative.