This is an exhibit piece inspired by Edo period painter Rosetsu Nagasawa's pictures of tigers on sliding doors. Like with Rosetsu Nagasawa's paintings, this work is founded on the concept that by not drawing the cat's actual form, one can better display the cat's true nature. All 30 types of cats and flowers are brought together in an unbalanced formation according to this concept. This scene depicting the daily life of cats is a masterpiece that cat lovers cannot get enough of. - Based on the thinking that, “to not depict a cat as it is, is to express it’s true essence,” I assembled 30 different unbalanced combinations of cats and flowers, for this pictorial record of the exhibition, “As Usual, My Cat Knocks Over The Vase.” The result is an irresistible masterpiece for cat lovers, depicting individual scenes of living life with a feline. In ancient Japan, during the Edo period, lived a painter named Utagawa Kuniyoshi. He often painted bakeneko (monster cats) and nekomata (a mythical two-tailed monster cat), but even in such strange compositions, I felt that he somehow expressed what made a cat unique—because I felt that the cumulation of a cat’s fluid framework, and his depictions of cats in mutated forms instead of in a straightforward manner, evoked the essence of cat-ness. Manga or caricatures, which capture the essence of someone by depicting an exaggeration of some characteristic portion of their being, are perhaps similar. Furthermore, there is a woman named Nagasawa Rosetsu—a contemporary of Utagawa. One of her most famous paintings is the “Torazu Fusuma,” which features a tiger depicted majestically on the front panel of a sliding door. Curiously, its tail is strangely long, somehow resembling a cat’s. The fact is, the sliding door’s back panel features a painting of a cat, about to pounce upon some fish swimming in water. This cat is juxtaposed as the true appearance of the tiger on the front panel. In other words, the tiger is, from the fishes’ perspective, simply an enormous cat. We feel that within such expressively “expectation-defying” or “gimmicky” techniques, exists the true essence of the cat. Nagasawa’s “Torazu Fusuma” does indeed depict the cat’s toughness, and its indomitable personality. We, inspired by Nagasawa’s tiger painting, made the deliberate decision to blacken and obscure this motif, rendering it unrecognizable as a cat. And then, without resorting to any generally comprehensible compositional arrangement, by exaggerating and intentionally dramatizing its strangeness, we distanced ourselves from any sense of portraiture of a realistic cat. In doing so, as stated earlier, we succeeded in capturing “a cat’s true essence.”
CL : People and Thought. / @people.a.t
D : OUWN / @ouwn_0402