Shoko Tsuge

Shoko Tsuge

“My work is portrait photography of people. I always think that I would like to capture, to represent the personality of the subject which I feel. When I take photos of my cats, it is the same.”

Question: In a world saturated with « kitsch », where photographs of ‘kawai’ are rarely considered art, what do you think is the value of cat photography, a subject that so often becomes ‘kawai’? What were the difficulties for you to take a picture of a cat and not be « only » kawaï ?

Answer: One is “kawai” of the imagination that came out of movies, comics, animations, industrial product, toys…etc. These are made by the imagination of creators. Those shapes, colors, movement, taking vice … etc , we say “kawai”.
Another One is “kawai” around us. These has life. They are children, animals, insects, flowers…etc. The creation that the earth formed them. These heal us in our life. I think that there is kawai which is manmade with imagination or creation, and real life “kawai” is contradictory to imagination or creation.”
“Cats teach me to find the various pleasures in life. Cats go out to a verandah with me. They enjoy “the sunlight in the morning”, “the smell of the wind”, “change in the weather” and “the smell of the flowering plant” at a verandah. Cats tell me. Nature isn’t same every day. I can find something every day in the ordinary nature around us and enjoy myself.”

Question: Do you think there is a characteristic of the cat that can transcend societal, personal and spiritual worlds, and if so what is it?

Answer: “I think that cats have sixth sense. They feel and see invisible things. And cats use this sixth sense to heal us and help us.”
“Cats are often observing the condition of our action and voice. Cats notice our “delight” and “sorrow” from our state.
Cats also notice our subtle change and sense a change at the heart sensitively.
Cats show delight with us.
Cats nestle close to us quietly and heal.
Cats can tell the future, when they feel something that it isn’t good. A cat uses the behavior which helps evades.
My cats hide under the bed certainly several minutes before an earthquake happens.
I think cats have the very delicate five senses.
I think that’s the sixth sense.”
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© Shoko Tsuge