It hasn't cooled down much in a long time, and I almost wanted to continue writing about how much I hate summer, but winter has suddenly arrived in the past few days. I feel sad that another year has passed almost without me experiencing fall. But I am definitely more happy than sad. The secure feeling of my body covered in cloth, the cool feeling of getting under my futon, and the taste of cigarettes smoked outside in winter are some of the many things I love about winter. But I'm happiest to spend more time with my cats.
I have two cats. The one sitting on my lap right now is a Himalayan named "Tsubute", and the one looking out like a giant from behind the computer where I am typing this article is an Exotic Longhair named "Sayo".
The name "Tsubute" came from his stone-like face, and "Sayo" came from the book "Rokubanme no Sayoko (The 6th Sayoko)" that I was reading when I got him. At first I wondered if they were really the right names, but now I like them very much.
However, I don't think they understand their names very well, maybe because I call them "Yutampo," "Engine," "Ebisu-sama," and so on, depending on the day. Both are long-haired boys, and although they look similar, they have opposite personalities. Tsubute is shy and affectionate, while Sayo is proud and does not like to be touched. Both of them are my perfect family members.
Life with cats never ceases to amaze me. For the first few months they slept in the new cat bed I installed last year, but now it has become an objet d'art and there is no sign of them ever going in. Instead, they each sit on the two chairs that people sit on, and when I ask Tsubute to get off the chair and I sit on it in turn, saying something like, "Excuse me," he immediately sits on my lap, which I didn't see during the summer.
I take a lot of pictures of them every day, but it is always very difficult. They can't wait like dogs, and they don't look at the camera very much. In addition, when I point the camera at Sayo, who is grooming himself in a beautiful pose, he immediately notices and comes running toward me (luckily). Sometimes I guide him with a toy, but it would be extremely difficult to capture that instantly with a manual film camera. I am most grateful for the GR's mobility and discretion not when photographing people or the city, but when photographing cats.
I stroke the cat with my left hand while manipulating the GR with my right hand. For me, touching the cats and photographing them are almost synonymous. I wonder if they ever complain about being photographed. My dear cats, today is the cutest day of all! Excuse me, but may I photograph you again today?
Born in 1993 in Iwaki, Fukushima. Lives and works in Tokyo. While working in the fields of fashion, film and advertising, he continues to create works that move back and forth between his childhood experiences and his present life. Won the Judges Encouragement Prize (selected by Nozomi Himeno) at the 19th Photography 1_WALL and the Grand Prix at IMA next #6 ‘Black&White'. Major solo exhibitions include 'Ishi to momo (Counterpoint)' (Roll) in 2023 and 'Atarashii mado (The Other Side of the Window)' (Book and Sons) in 2020. Major photobooks include 'Sodemaku' and 'Todai' (both aptp) and 'Atarashii mado (The Other Side of the Window)' (Akaakasha).
Kazuhei Kimura (@kazuheikimura)