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Koi 'Collecting'

After a week being nosey at koi and ponds online I was left with an interesting question regarding the koi we select for our collections.

Obviously when buying koi we have our own preferences, criteria and aspirations, each playing their part in shaping what we look for. But how many of you consider the overall visual impact of the collection itself?

I knew a hobbyist that took great care in selecting koi that complimented each other visually. Whether it was down to the variety or the individual pattern, he added koi to his pond like an artist would add paint to their canvas. Sometimes I’d look at koi he was considering and think “really?” But when I’d see videos of his pond and the entire collection, it all made sense.

I knew another hobbyist who simply wanted one koi of every variety, a big task (and he is probably still searching). Undoubtedly the pond looked very ‘busy,’ but it was his dream to say he had ‘one of each,’ and actually there was something very intriguing about it. When looking in a pond where there is only one showa, one kohaku, one matsukawabake, it makes you examine each koi carefully in an attempt to understand - ‘why that one?’ Essentially each koi epitomises the qualities of what that variety represents to that hobbyist.

Then there was the chap who just kept kohaku…

You know what, it worked perfectly. The koi were selected in such a way that not one was remotely similar to the next. They were not big by any means (the biggest was 50cm) but the collection was truly stunning.

It got my mind whirring and in honesty I don’t think it’s something I ever considered as a hobbyist, I looked at each purchase as a separate entity, as long as I was happy with the individual I didn't care about the overall visual. Which is fine! But I do remember as a koi dealer, giving thought to how I displayed my nisai and sansai, trying to balance the look of the sales tanks so that the koi complimented one another. Of course, it wasn’t always possible.

So what about you - are you focussed on the collection or the individual?


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