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Cats, Owls and Mountains Exhibition

CATS, OWLS and MOUNTAINS| Exhibition

2 April - 7 April 2024

AIIIMA Gallery

Shibuya City, Shibuya,

2 Chome−21−1, Hikarie, 8F

TOKYO 〒150-0002 



The current exhibition "Cats, Owls, and Mountains" brings together the collaborative efforts of two distinguished artists: Zoia Skoropadenko (Monaco/Ukraine) and Kina Sato (Japan). Through their artwork featured in this exhibition, they have initiated a dialogue between European and Japanese cultures, paying homage to past creations, artistic techniques, and traditions while infusing a contemporary twist.




kina Sato.jpg

Why is the exhibition titled "Cats, Owls, and Mountains" focused on these particular subjects?

"The idea has been growing within us for some time. - says artist Zoia Skoropadenko. "As the great appreciators of all three subjects, we discovered that almost every museum around the world includes representations of cats, owls, and mountains in their collections. Moreover, these subjects evoke positive emotions and bring happiness. So, we began researching the subject and found that all three have been popular throughout the entire history of art.

Owls and cats have been depicted in prehistoric drawings, and both animals were highly regarded by ancient civilizations; for instance, the Greeks featured the owl on their most popular coin. Over time, the owl became a symbolical subject in Western art, often representing wisdom in religious artworks, while cats added a sense of cuteness and softness to portraits, still lives, and animated casual everyday life paintings, such as those of Bruegel.

In Japan, there exists a profound sentiment towards felines. Not only are traditional Japanese paintings abundant in depictions of cats, but cats have also transcended mere household pets to become objects of cult worship.

Japanese artist Tsuguharu Foujita, who lived in France, once said: "The reason why I enjoy being friends with cats so much is that they have two different characters: a wild side and a domestic side. This duality makes them fascinating. While it's fine to keep a young lion or tiger in your house when they're small, you may find it challenging to manage them as they grow. Cats, being wild animals, possess an allure that I find captivating."

These three eternal subjects in the history of art—cats, owls, and mountains—are what the world needs in the current challenging times we are living in.

Cats have always held a special place in art. Moreover, cats have been the best friends, critics, and hand heaters of many artists, including Pierre Bonnard, Salvador Dali, Franz Marc, Renoir, and Picasso.

Owls, too, have occasionally visited artists' studios and have been depicted in masterpieces such as the hundreds of ceramic owls by Picasso, or paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and Albrecht Durer.

As for mountains, we couldn't overlook this eternal art subject, as there is no artist who wasn't enchanted by them. Whether in Japan, the Alps, the Carpathians, or California, mountains hold immense importance for us as artists and human beings.

This exhibition showcases a masterpiece by Yokoyama Taikan, being publicly displayed for the first time since its sale to a private European art collector, most likely directly from the artist's studio. Taikan, a Japanese master genius of the 20th century, is renowned for his distinguished paintings of Mount Fuji."

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