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 Tadahiro Kumagai chose beautiful cats in this voluptuous snow as we see little in France. These photographed cats live in an orchard planted with apple trees where the immaculate snow is particularly dense, even for the region of Akita. The cats have been abandoned and live in this orchard whose owner has chosen to feed them every day. Those pictures are the perfect expression of life in its fragility and beauty.
When Tadahiro Kumagai photographs cats, he lowers the lens of his camera to the level of cats’ eyes to capture changes in facial expression. He tries to show situations where the cats’ expression is similar to the humans’ emotions
Tadahiro Kumagai has a recognizable signature. He photographs the cats when they seem to emerge from the background or to blend in. Those photographs are nrealy like a Dutch or French painting we could see in Le Louvre.
In the picture of the cat in the harbor, Tadahiro Kumagai checks in someway that the cat is fine. Life of cats living outside is brief and each time the photographer met a cat he knows, to take a picture is also a way to check the cat is fine. As said in the dialect of the region of Akita “Mamederaga? ” It means: “Are you well? Are you eating enough? ”
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© Tadahiro Kumagai