Japanese artist, fisherman, and student of icthyology Iori Tomita aims to make the invisible impossible to ignore with his artwork. Instead of creating mimicries of the natural world, Tomita alters animal specimens to be shocking and eye catching. His specimens were once everyday critters, but Tomita’s process turns the outer skin invisible and highlights the normally unseen skeleton and organs with fluorescent color.
His process is painstaking, sometimes taking five months to a year for a single specimen. From Wired:
Tomita first removes the scales and skin of fish that have been preserved in formaldehyde. Next he soaks the creatures in a stain that dyes the cartilage blue. Tomita uses a digestive enzyme called trypsin, along with a host of other chemicals, to break down the proteins and muscles, halting the process just at the moment they become transparent but before they lose their form. The bones are then stained with red dye, and the brilliant beast is preserved in a jar of glycerin.
To see some choice examples of Tomita’s remarkable work, read through after the jump.
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