Saturday, November 7, 2009

古都取經 ~ Goldfish Pilgrimage

觀今宜鑒古﹐無古不成今。~ 唐太宗
A study of contemporary events is best supplemented by comparative analyses on histories of bygone eras.

~ Tai Zong Emperor (Tang Dynasty)

I knew I would have a very fruitful trip visiting the Goldfish hobbyists and breeders in Northern China. In the few days of eye-opening expedition, the Vermillion Goldfish Club members covered many Goldfish farms in Rugao, Nantong, Yangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing.

We were exposed to the Goldfish keeping techniques of the North and its ancient Goldfish art and cultures. Having a cooler climate than the south, the breeders in the north employ much more shallower water to groom their Goldfish. Most of the northern farms also specialise in the Classical Pearlscale, Lionhead, Bubble Eyes and the Dragon Eyes Butterfly.

We are also very fortunate to establish contact with a group of very avid Goldfish hobbyists from the Nanjing Goldfish Club. Like us, they also rented ponds in the outdoors to further their skills in advance goldfish grooming techniques. In recent years, a few of them had retired, leased a plot of land and build their own ponds to keep Goldfish.

I was most pleasantly surprised and honoured that the stone bridge leading to the Nanjing Goldfish Club's office was carved with some of my Goldfish artworks! Besides creating new varieties of Goldfish, the Nanjing Goldfish Club members are also very passionate in re-creating and maintaining various ancient varieties, some of which, like the Imperial Goose Head Phoenix is at the blink of extinction due to less popular commercial demands.

We had the privilege to tour one of the last few places in Northern China with backyard Goldfish breeders keeping Goldfish in their roof-top. Unfortunately, with rapid urbanisation, many breeders have stopped breeding the Goldfish. Our hosts also extended their hospitality to show us their proud heritage - the breath-taking Zhou Mansions of Suzhou!

With my job and baby fis
h commitments, I couldn't have continued the expedition together with my fellow members. They are still having hell of a great time touring the Goldfish farms in Southern China. As I eagerly await for their stories and pictures to update the Vermillion Goldfish Club's website, I couldn't help relishing the awe and wonders of the Goldfish hobby that had forged so many friendships Internationally.

1) The beautiful Zhou Mansions in Suzhou.

2) The stone bridge decorating the Nanjing Goldfish Club HQ with my artwork.

3) The school of cute northern Classical Pearlscales.

4) Rare Imperial Goosehead Phoenix with Red Cap Lionheads kept by a Nanjing Goldfish Club member.

5) New creation - short tail rare colour Bubble Eyes Goldfish bred by the Nanjing Goldfish Club members.

6) One of the disappearing roof-top backyard farms.


Breeding the TVR

Breeding the TVR
Breeding and maintaining a bloodline of the Japanese TVR since 2003.

Goldfish Artwork

Goldfish Artwork
Marriage of 2 of my passions - Goldfish and Art.

Creating a New Variety

Creating a New Variety
My dream of creating a new variety of goldfish in 2006 has proven to be more than just an impulsive fantasy.

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