Aoki Kanjo

For a better cat life … Aoki Kanjo loves cats and has two cats at home. He has already seen kittens growing up with their mom after sheltering them. All those cats were cats abandonned cats in the streets or rescued cats. Nowadays he still photographs cats and actively gets involved in animal protection. He is in charge of checking the health status or monitoring the living conditions of stray cats, anykind of cats living outside. Congratulations Aoki ! For this interview he proposed us two pictures he took in a Tokyo temple. The first one with a black cat …

Syotaro HAYASHI, Tadafumi MIWA, Ikumo MOTOSUGI

For Syotaro Hayashi, just like him who lives in Osaka in the middle of the city and buildings, stray cats also exist in a similar way and it is perhaps to leave a trace that Syotaro HAYASHI takes pictures of them to leave a ” trace ” of them. Rather than the term ” work or photo”, Syotaro Hayashi prefers the word “trace” (as a proof, a recording) to describe those photos. « The photo I propose here is the one among a few thousand photos I have taken of stray cats, the one in which I feel life with the most intensity. It’s …

Hiromi Kakimoto 

NEKOMATA * Hiromi Kakimoto is graduated in 1997 from the Japan Institute of Photography and Film and in 1999 from Seian University of Art and Design. She received the Ueno Hikoma Award in 2002. She had several solo exhibitions in Japan and numerous group exhibitions in Japan, Switzerland, France and Korea. Recently she exhibited in Russia. For Neko project she got interested by Japanese folk and did some research before starting her project. Let’s remember what Hiromi says about story and photography. “I am interested in the process of devising a story, first creating a mental image that I can …

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 …