‘The Dragon Gate’

This is a personal project inspired by the self-help culture, which is currently trending. Such as many other things in the Western world, it also has been influenced by ideas and practices taken from Asian philosophies and religions.

The Koi Fish is a well-known symbol from the Japanese culture. It symbolises strength, courage and patience. There's a legend about it which teaches about the power of persistence, and in my opinion- about the importance of choices. Your life depends on whether you choose to don't give up on your goals and overcome the obstacles.

I decided to visualise this notion through a surreal koi fish, which is a representation of the life that you build through your choices- it can be successful and fulfilling, or miserable.

Concept development: mysticism, void, Japanese minimalism, modern aesthetics, gold and black (from the legend)

A series of illustrations visualises the Japanese legend. The most difficult part was to find the right camera angles and movements to let the viewer see the illustrations clearly and to distinguish the two outcomes of the story.


the story end for the black koi fish:

the story end for the golden koi fish
(the persistent one):


(Japanese Woodblock Prints):


sketches &  textures used: