Inspired on Hishida Shunso, (1874-1911) a Japanese artist from the Meiji period that, despite his short life left many artworks, ranging from landscapes and flora to religious imaginary and animals in which we can find the widely known series of cat paintings.
These cats in particular gave me a sort of mysterious halo, almost like if they weren’t actually cats, something in between human and animal, and in this ambiguity a link to what I been illustrating for the past 7 years.
Mr Mate the cat is my alter ego creation, born from a water thermo container that made company during solitude times, always on the table to fill the mate cup with hot water. The feelings that Shunso painting provoked in me and the personal relationship with my Mr Mate cat gave me an impulse to make my own series based on his famous artworks named “Mr Mate in Shunso world and other spots”
I represent his cat as an “in between” feeling, image and technique. The artworks looks like traditional “nihongas”, just like I look like a “nihonjin” (Japanese person) but they’re not entirely, they can be from theme or imitation, its essence is kept, although I explored with Nikawa (rabbit skin glue) Gofun white and mineral pigments, other materials and techniques used differ from strict traditions in the creative process and being self-taught in the world of Japanese traditional artistic materials, I had the freedom to blend all with other ways, and is on this blend were lay a representation of my own being.
On “Mr Mate in Shunso world” series, despite that they might be seen as a cute representation of cat paintings, I want to depict human personal emotions, mixing them up with animal imaginery, solitude, discomfort or curiosity placed with a pinch of surrealism, irony and joy, discovering and being amazed by simple things and moments while playing around on the different seasons.