Say hello to the technicolor dream cadavers of Iori Tomita. By combining classical specimen preservation techniques with meticulous staining methods, the Japanese artists transforms fish, squid, turtles and even chameleons into a menagerie of multi-colored hell beasts. Go ahead and take a peek — you’ve never seen taxidermy like this.
The examples featured here all come from a series entitled “shinsekai [toumei hyouhon],” or “New World Transparent Specimens.”
Wired’s Liz Stinson describes Tomita’s process:
To produce the specimens… Tomita first removes the scales and skin of fish that have been preserved in formaldehyde. Next he soaks the creatures in a stain that dyes the cartilage blue. Tomita uses a digestive enzyme called trypsin, along with a host of other chemicals, to break down the proteins and muscles, halting the process just at the moment they become transparent but before they lose their form. The bones are then stained with red dye, and the brilliant beast is preserved in a jar of glycerin.
Tomita says it takes him five months to a year of meticulous chemical manipulation to prepare just one specimen — but the results, as you can plainly see, are utterly incredible.
Check out many more examples of Tomita’s work over on his website.