Iori Tomita is breathing colorful new life into animal specimens through a careful process of preservation. Working as a fisherman in the small city of Yokohama, Japan, Iori began experimenting with the process of staining animal cadavers using psychedelic colors. The results transformed the same fish he would often catch into charismatic creatures not even the depths of the ocean could hide.
His process starts with a delicate dose of chemical breakdown. Using a perfected concoction of blue stain, ethyl alcohol, glacial acetic acid and the enzyme trypsin, Tomita strips all scales, skin, and proteins from the animal – rendering it translucent. From there, he stains the remaining bones with different dyes producing the neon-looking animals he’s come to be known for. Since he started experimenting with fish in 2005, Iori Tomita has made over 5,000 specimens even though some can take over a month to create!