Japanese Artist Inspired By His Cats Paints the Most Epic Portraits
A Japanese contemporary artist is winning love on social media for turning cats into royalties in their oil paintings.
Tokuhiro Kawai, a surrealist, draws inspiration from the Renaissance style of painterly technique, using fantastical elements to convey dream-like visuals.
“Kawai approaches work on the now fragile bond between story and picture to bring the two into reunion. Since gods and faith are less related to our modern society, Kawai complements the theme with his own imagination,” the artist’s Gallery Gyokuei page reads. “Kawai’s painting is always an illustration without chapters with classical technique portraying a story of modern lives.”
According to The Great Cat, Kawai’s favorite subject is cats, where he “represents them as gods and conquerors who are sometimes power hungry.”
Kawai was first inspired by his cat Piko, a mixed breed cat that was similar to a Scottish Fold, he told NextShark. Kawai had Piko when he was 17 to 36, with the cat living a total of 19 years, “a long life for a cat,” he said.
Kawai also had a second cat named Chiko, who lived to 16 years old. Piko and Chiko were the only two cats Kawai has ever owned. Sadly, he currently doesn’t have any cats.
Kawai also told NextShark that he draws inspiration from Renaissance painters Jan van Eyck, who was on his art class textbook when he first started oil painting, and Raffaello Santi. “I use his composition as reference still now,” Kawai said.
Check out the his oil paintings of regal cats below:
1. “Fantasy of a Pet Cat”
2. “Livelihood of Cat”
3. “Bird and Actindia”
4. “Fairies in the Garden”
5. “Hallucination of Pet Cats to be in Contact”
6. “Cat That Seems It Put Boots On It”
7. “Captor Who Becomes It Ignorantly”
8. “Each Idea”
9. “Idea of a Certain Cat”
10. “I am a Cat”
11. “Person Who Becomes It Ignorantly”
12. “Thinking Thoughts Smolder”
Visit Kawai’s official page here. Check out his Instagram page here.
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.