Yuko FUKAGAWA, Daisuke ATSUMI, Yumi SATO and Koji ONO

A True Photography (cover photo ©Yuko FUKAGAWA) In her Neko project, Yuko FUKAGAWA presents a very cinematographic color photo, where cute kittens queue as customers in the front of a Japanese izakaya (a sort of equivalent bistro we may have in France). We are in February, a very cold month in Japan. The kittens stand as close as possible from each other to endure the cold. In the izakaya a man is cooking yakitori (chicken skewers) and the « oishi oishi » (tasty) smell attracts the kittens. The Japanese culture is present with the wooden boards where are written the …

Masahisa Yokomizo

Originally, Masahisa Yokomizo only saw the stray cats infesting his neighborhood as pests that soiled his bike and car. that was before he started taking pictures. One day, walking with a camera in hand, he started to photograph these cats he had often crossed paths with, and he gradually developed a profound interest in these felines models. He felt drawn to the strong freedom of life that comes from these stray cats, something he had never experienced with domesticated cats. The photographer therefore started searching for these cats and thus discovered the paradise of the homeless and stray cats at …

Naoyuki Ogino

The LittLe Deity Naoyuki Ogino lived ten years in Mexico and his first photographic works, of an ethnological nature, explored his origins, depicting the lives of Asian people. His native Japanese culture has also led him to take an interest in the folklore of his country and to dedicate an important series to the geisha (A Geisha’s journey). His proposition for Neko Project was born from this particular body of work. We are in Kyōto, in a geisha house. Naoyuki ogino explains: “In Japanese, wakaokami means “the young landlady”. All the geiko (geisha in Kyōto) and maiko (apprentices) in this …

Shinji Otani

Fascinated by the artificially coloured photographs of Tutankhamun’s tumb, Shinji Otani attempts to reproduce in his own pictures this feeling of added reality brought by the application of colour on black and white, which gives the archeological site the aspect of a familiar place, a more intimate and contemporary quality. Before dedicating himself to photograph, Shinji Otani was a ceramicist, and he undeniably has a particular sensitivity to objects and to their relation with their surroundings. His aim is thus to define the identity of a place by putting into light the relation between this place and the objects that …

Yoshinori Mizutani

Yoshinori Mizutani is a well-known photographer whose work has already been preented several times in France, recently at La Gacilly festival. He became particularly famous with the Tōkyō Parrots series, which will be presented in the upcoming book Des Oiseaux published by Xavier Barral Editions*. Yoshinori Mizutani has developed his own photographic techniques, particularly in his HDR series (High Dynamic Range), using a digital process that gets an image as close of what and how a human eye could see. The jury could only be impatient to discover the submission for Project Neko of a photographer as inventive as Yoshinori Mizutani and has been …

Dai Itō

  The Cat Guest Dai Itō is an inspired photographer. A virtuoso of black and white, he tells us stories with all the sensitivity of the writer and musician, but pictures are is medium of predilection. For Neko Project, he submitted a story entitled The Cat Guest and inspired by the novel with same title written by Takashi Hiraide and published in 2001. This novel tells the story of a young couple who settled in an old but comfortable house with a beautiful garden, and regularly receives the visit of a cat. Dai Itō explains: “As I read this novel, …

Masahito Agake

The 10th life of a cat Masahito Agake is an architect by training and profession. He started with underwater photography while practising diving, and decided to go further after discovering the works of Alexandre Rodtchenko and Eugene Smith. Many exhibitions followed, as well as books (namekuji soshi, publisher Sokyusha; namekuji soshi gaiden, publisher Sokyusha). Masahito Agake is also the co-founder of The third district Gallery and was a contributor to the first volume of Asphalt Magazine. The works presented for Neko Project are not a series as such, but rather a selection of photographic shots magnifying the cat in its …

cat on a wall by Takahiro yamashita

Takahiro Yamashita

The cat in the Box Schrödinger’s cat is a conceptual experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what Schrödinger saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects, and particularly highlights the problem of measurement. Takahiro Yamashita describes the experience: “First, I prepare a box with a lid and place in it a cat, a certain amount of deadly gas in a flask and a radioactive source. A Geiger counter is also placed in the box and if it detects radioactivity (i.e. a signle atom …

Aiko Iwasaki

Aiko Iwasaki is a cat photographer and she has her own style. She is living in Ito, Shizuoka, near the seaside where strolling wild cats are numerous. Taking photos of cats is a mental projection of herself, she tries to be a cat while shooting. Narrative, poetic and sometimes humorous, her cat photography, all in black and white, is unforgettable. Her cats inhabit the image as in a Charlie Chaplin film, in a sort of misery but in a warm and humanistic tone. The three black cats are like tattletales. One could almost hear them comment on the photographer while …

Eric Pelletier

Eric Pelletier has a particular profile in Neko Project. A few years ago, Eric decided to relocate from Montreal, Canada to Japan. He discovered a country filled with many crafts. He learnt a few of the local skills, like Kirie and Moku hanga. After in 8 years in Tokyo, called a photographer’s paradise, photography becomes one of his favourite way of express his vision of the world. He is wellknown for his illustrations of Tokyo but for Neko project he proposes us a series of cat portraits. Eric Pelletier describes his project: “Stray cat in Tokyo, can sometime gain the …