Size: 12x17 inches
Prints and Original available [link]
Detail closeup views [link]
Original sketch available [link]
Related blog posts: [link]
In Chinese and Japanese legend the lowly carp spends its life trying to swim up the Yellow River. At the source of the river is a great roaring waterfall. If the koi were able to swim up that waterfall, it would be rewarded and transformed into a dragon. Thus, the koi is a symbol of personal advancement, perseverance, determination in the face of impossible obstacles, and inner strength. The journey of the carp to become a dragon was a metaphor for young scholars passing the Chinese state exams and become a mandarin.