Kanaida Etsuko

(Japan 1955 – )

Cat Town I

Location
Not on display
Further information

Kanaida depicts on thick paper an imaginary fantasy town inhabited only by cats. For the Japanese cats are rich in magical and folkloric associations; the cat has long been credited with mysterious supernatural powers, and there are many and varied folk stories about cats. Images of the 'maneki neko' (beckoning cat), with one paw raised, are to be seen in doorways and windows all over Japan, serving as mascots to entice riches and good fortune inside. Since cats often appear as ghosts or goblins, Kanaida's print also could be seen as a metaphor for a ghost town. Recently in metropolitan Japan, cats have assumed a more poignant significance as companions for people living alone in busy cities. These historical and modern associations of the cat form the warp and weft of Kanaida's original image.

Kanaida lives in Tokyo, having been educated at Tama Art University and born in Yamanashi.

Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 53.

Place of origin
Japan
Period
Japan: Heisei period 1989–
Year
1991
Media
Print
Medium
collagraph
Dimensions
61.5 x 79.0 cm image; 69.0 x 91.0 cm sheet
Signature & date

Signed l.r., pencil "E Kanaida". Not dated.

Credit
Gift of the artist 1993
Accession number
428.1993