Koi Art

Koi are a group of fish that are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp. Koi are usually kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens. Because of their beauty, Andy has painted a small sampling of koi art.



Koi were originally domesticated in Eastern Asia in the early 400's as an important source of food. In fact, koi fish were staples to Eastern Asian families in early times. Today, some still eat koi fish.

Koi Fish Meaning in China

A couple thousand years ago, a legend in China was formed that told how carp (koi) that swam up a waterfall and through the dragon gate were magically transformed into dragons. Through perseverance and endurance, the carp were able to become mythical beings. Today, koi fish still symbolize perseverance and endurance.

Koi Fish Meaning in Japan

In Japan, koi are known for their masculine and positive qualities. They are the official symbol for the Children's Day (May 5th) festival in Japan. On Children's Day, families hang koi windsocks for every member they have in their household. Another quality that the Japanese symbolize with is strength for overcoming life's difficulties. By persevering in life's endeavors, one can better him or herself.

Characteristics of the Fish

The koi is a hearty fish. It thrives in cold, fresh waters. Often confused with goldfish, koi are generally a bit larger and can be identified by their characteristic "whiskers," or barbels, protruding from their lips. Also, koi typically have a similar body shape while goldfish have much more variation in body and tail shapes and sizes.

Koi Fish Symbolism

Koi fish symbolize many things:

  • Power
  • Independence
  • Masculinity
  • Passionate love
  • Friendship
  • Good fortune
  • Success
  • Prosperity
  • Longevity
  • Courage
  • Ambition
  • Perseverance