The Owner of the Fishing Fleet (from the Uchinada series) 網元(内灘連作の内)

IKEDA Tatsuo 池田 龍雄

In September 1953, the painter Tatsuo Ikeda was staying at the village of Uchinada, Ishikawa prefecture, far from his studio in Tokyo. The village, which looked peaceful among nature, was actually in an upheaval concerning a construction plan of a shell testing site. Ikeda was struggling to “connect the mind of the working class and that of the artist which is very different from the former, and to produce something constructive.” In an attempt to get involved in a social event, he left his studio to take part in movement against the planned construction along with local fishermen. This “The Owner of the Fishing Fleet”, a pen drawing based on a sketch made during his stay, is a representative work of “reportage painting,” an important trend of the 1950s. The chief’s deeply lined large face, his emphasized left hand, the tiny fishing boat on its palm-though based on a realistic sketch, the artist have changed these features freely in size and form to better express his own impression. The thick rope that is wound many times around the man’s neck and the strange fish that float behind him make this drawing go beyond realism; they symbolize the issue of the artist’s concern, and turn the picture into a poignant satire. The penned lines, however, are full of subtle nuances, and eloquently weave a world around this fishermen’s chief.
Collection of
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
The Owner of the Fishing Fleet (from the Uchinada series)
Artist Name
IKEDA Tatsuo
Material / Technique
Ink on paper
Acquisition date
Accession number

Other items of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (7372)