Saturday, May 7, 2016

Neko展 Cats in Japanese culture Meiji period to 21st century

ねこ展”Neko” Cats in Japanese culture - Edo period to 21st century -

 In Brisbane, Maneki-neko(a happy come-come cat) has been becoming very popular at Japanese restaurants and retail shops. It is not only Maneki-neko, but there are many popular trendy cat characters in Japanese cultural history.

In the Edo period (1603-1868), Many woodblock printers printed cats motif arts such as Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, Utamaro, and in the Meiji era (1868-1912), the great novelist Soseki Natsume wrote the novel “I Am a Cat”, which became a famous masterpiece of Japanese literature. Even nowadays, cats have been getting more popular as some cultural trend character such as Name-neko(70s) ,Hello Kitty(70s-now), Cat café(2013-now) and more…

Japanese people have had a long relationship with cats for more than 1000 years. General people have also started having pet cats at home since several hundred years ago. Japanese people have also been involved with cats in a variety of ways since then. There are shrines that worship cats as gods across Japan and cats have also played a big part in folk beliefs through the ages.

 Under these historical cultural backgrounds, Japanese contemporary artists paint cats with their views. Mr. Takagi, a curator, who is leading Japanese art industry over 20 years in overseas and Japan, has collected about 5 emerging Japanese artists from Japan. This exhibition is a part of “Pop Japan in Brisbane” and will be held as a Machiya project of Kazuyo's collection at West end. Please visit and enjoy Japanese cultural history through cats!

 Date : 19th May 2016 opening
Place: Machiya project at. Kazuyo's collection, West end 195 Boundary street, West end
 Contact to
*this exhibition is a part of Pop Japan in Brisbane

 Artists of “Neko” Midori Furuhashi 
ふるはし美鳥 Painter Born in Hiroshima ,Japan in 1962 After graduated from Kyoto City University of Art in 1988 , she lived in New York City briefly.Employing the ancient materials of hand made paper , mineral pigment, and Sumi ink , Midori creates the radiant imaginative artworks.Cats are Midori’s recently themes, articulated in breathtakingly delicate brushworks and smartly subtle nuances in tone. 

Kenji Mera 目羅健嗣Painter                      
Born in 1962. After graduating from Chiba Economics Junior College Kenji Mera worked for as a librarian at his local city library. Mera resigned from his job after 10 years and turned to art making, with household cats as his exclusive subject matter. In the past 15 years Mera says he has painted more than 2000 cats. Tetsuji Yamaguchi 山口哲司Illustrator  Born in 1972. “Through the seasonal scenery, the plants, animals and most of all through the cats I depict, I want to express my idea of “Life”. I always strive to respect and cherish the birds, insects and plants, in other words, the life around me. To me cats are that symbol of life. Their casual expressions are the essence of harmony in my works.” After graduating Osaka College of Art attached Osaka University of Arts, started working in design office. Since the year 2002, working as free-lance illustrator. He continues to present his works at numerous exhibitions both locally and internationally. Sayuri Tobiwatari 飛渡さゆりPainter  Mio Murai 村井美緒Painter

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