Ota Fine Arts Shanghai is delighted to present “Cat Olympics: in memory of Torajiro”, a solo exhibition by Japanese artist, Nobuaki Takekawa.
Cat Olympics: in memory of Torajiro marks Takekawa’s first solo presentation in China and will feature a large installation which extends throughout the gallery space. Upon entry, one will see a mega sporting event held at 4 miniature model venues, including an opening ceremony stadium, a football field, an aquatic center and a gymnasium. Hundreds of cat athletes, made out of ceramic, are engaged in various sporting activities.
Through his works, Takekawa directs us to ponder on vital socio-historical issues. Cat Olympics: in memory of Torajiro creates an opportunity for viewers to look at the frenetic Olympics Games global event which happens every four years. The Olympic Games is a platform for the human race to challenge limits of its own, and also creates unity as a global society. However, it also tends to reveal complex underlying issues. The artist remarks that “it is not a criticism to human society though,” leaving it open to his viewer’s own astute imagination.
The feature of cats in this exhibition is tightly connected and consistent with his artistic practice. Throughout his career, Takekawa has always selected animals and elements of nature (such as the sea and outer space) as a visual language to connect easily with his viewers, drawing them in with light-hearted and familiar objects and often leaving it open to their own interpretations. For this exhibition, Takekawa commemorates the anniversary of his beloved cat, Torajiro, who died in an accident a year ago.
While the installation may appear seemingly bizarre at first glance, on closer observation, one would realize that every cat featured is unique, each with his or her own individuality and characteristics. For Takekawa, cats are strong and persevering creatures. They seem to have their own specific needs and requirements in everyday life. He wonders if it is possible for cats to gather around in one place and yet still preserve some personal space.
Cat Olympics: in memory of Torajiro embodies a miracle of unity, integration and universality under the complex rules of competition.