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 …

Masayuki KURIHARA , Yomogi KAWAI, Masakazu IKEGUCHI

Here are three photographers who are members of Japan Stray Cats Photographers (JSCP) (*), three men living in Tokyo, Osaka or Okayama prefecture. They are faithful to the JSCP principle, and are photographers of stray cats from all over the country. Their photos, are totally a face to face with cats. It’s already been ten years since Yomogi KAWAI and Masakazu IKEGUCHI devote themselves to cat pictures, Masayuki KURIHARA for his part started to photograph his own cat before turning to stray cats later. Nevertheless, each one has his own style and specificities. Yomogi KAWAI is particularly interested in stray …

Yoko Mizuike

Yoko Mizuike relates her perspective on cat photography: “In Japan, cats have had a big boom in recent years, and many items related to cats, including photo books are on sale. In the early days of the boom, things that were focused on “cats are cute” were popular, but recently it seems that they are selling less. Even in photo collections, etc., popularity has gathered in works that focus on unusual cat ecology, movement and expression, and I feel that consumption trends are shifting. Among them, I think that it is now necessary to suggest pictures of cats as art …

Micchi Jay

Micchi Jay’s photography tells a story, the story of the alley cats, how they live and how they survive. She tells us: “I don’t really do any of the fancy, cute kind of photography, but still, some people think that those photos are cute or comforting. Kawaii itself could be art as long as you can capture the cat’s personality… Those are the cats I mainly see and take photos of, and I could not say “Kawaii” first, I would say “Ganbatte! (Good luck)” first, then Kawaii… My photos show the proof of these cats’ existence; unlike house cats, if …

Koji Onaka

Koji Onaka has a long history of wandering in the streets of Japan and abroad in a search of the spontaneous and the unexpected. In the 80’s he became a member of CAMP, a street photographer independent gallery created by Daido Moriyama with Keizo Kitajima, Seiji Kurata among others. His photographic work is built around a mixture of delicacy and nostalgia; the images seem to have been created by a peaceful mind. In his photographs, Koji Onaka uses evocation and free association. – What represents cats for you ? what is your relation with cats ? I have a very …

Kumi Oguro

Kumi Oguro’s submitted work for the Neko Project is an exact antithesis to the phenomenon of kawaii cat photography. First of all, she claims that she is not really a cat-lover (despite her tenderness for the two cats of the gallery where she works), and absolutely no fan of “kawaii” cat photography. Her participation in the Neko Project was quite a challenge, but the result is unexpected and astonishing enough to draw your attention. Her images “of” cats are rather “about” cats, about what she personally associates with them. For instance she refers to: the fact that she used to …

Tadahiro Kumagai

Tadahiro Kumagai has been interested in photography for about thirty years. At first he mainly photographs landscapes and events but by chance he discovers the photography of the famous wildlife photographer Mitsuaki Iwagō. Tadahiro Kumagai is straight away inspired by those images and he begins to take pictures of cats. “The photos I proposed to the Neko Project are photos of subjects (like models) that I see evolving in life and that I photograph as a series. I wait for the best moments when the subjects and background are in osmosis, when they are the most beautiful.” For the project …