The words for fish and abundance are pronounced the same in Chinese (鱼,yu) so the fish in the Chinese culture symbolizes wealth. As they multiply rapidly and sometimes swim in pairs , fish also symbolize harmony, marital happiness and reproduction. Chinese legend says people placed messages in the bellies of the fish, and thus the fish has come to symbolize communication with a distant friend or loved one. Fish is an important symbol in the Buddhist religion and are among the auspicious signs on the Footprints of Buddha. The fish on the Buddha footprints signifies freedom from all restraints. The most popular fish motif found in Chinese art and culture is that of the Carp or Koi fish. Known to most Westerners as Koi Fish, the Chinese carp has numerous symbolic values within Chinese culture. The carp is a powerful symbol of strength and perseverance. The scales and whiskers of the carp resemble that of a dragon, a great symbol of power in China. At the New Year Festival "lucky money" is given out in red envelopes decorated with a carp and symbols of long life such as peach and pine trees. The word "koi" comes from the Japanese word meaning “carp”. Koi fish have many different colors with the major colors being black, white, red, yellow, and cream colored.
In this painting ,nine golden fish swim around the lotus , in the clear water.Why the painter paint nine fish ? The number nine is an auspicious number , and fish and lotus painting brings people good luck and peaceful life . The swimming fish shows the painting vividly and charmingly.