cat art - playing with the classic paintings...

In a perfectly weightless world, the adventures of the cat begin! This is an exploration of the classic paintings I love. It’s a way of immersing myself via the cat into the adventures of these masterpieces. How else can you sail the great wave in Hokusai’s painting, pose in Botero's still life, or appear between Mondrian's lines? It’s about entering into a dialogue with these classic paintings and making them accessible to viewers from another perspective. It is akin to Warhol creating art out of an ordinary soup can. By introducing the cat, a door is opened and the audience is invited to participate in the painting.

In a big and grandiose world of Botero, my fat catmasutra cat fits right in. (Fact is that my cat has taken very much to sleeping on the table, and she loves to prop herself against whatever she can find). A perfect model for a still life portrait, if I do say so myself ;)

"Catch me if you can" is a throw-back to the Hokusai's sea paintings. There's somethimg momentous of his paintings, as if caught in a frame of time.
This painting is largely about the value of freedom and the ability to let go. We are always chasing the wrong things. Instead of chasing, maybe we should just enjoy the ride, and let nature take care of things for a change.

Catch me if you can

This one is, of course, a play on Mondrain's art, which is in essence, an exploration via intuition into pure abstraction, "I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…

I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true."

And from pure abstraction, as a reversal, reveals its beauty. "Incidents within the lines" is about our imagination, the beauty we find in-between if we open our eyes. It's about imaginary friends and day-dreaming... its about finding a language for which no words are required...



catmaSutra cat art - Land on the other side of the rainbow

Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.
Don't try to see through the distances.
That's not for human beings. Move within,
but don't move the way fear makes you move.

Land without boundaries is a place within. We forget that there is such a place, a place that we all wish for, a place without war, cruetly, hunger, fear, or pain. We may even feel that such a place no longer exists. We find cruelty everywhere - from the way animals are kept and slaughtered to the power of the wealthy over the poor- and we learn to walk away. I think sometimes we forget that whatever we do, we do it to ourselves. Nothing goes away in this world. It's cause and effect. Everything gets imprinted. When we finally leave this place, there is nothing we can bring with us, just this place within us. It can be peaceful and beautiful, or it can be terrifying. Don't move the way fear makes you move. This is a repetitive world made up of the sums of all our choices. This is a universe of potentialities, waiting for an intervention to affect the outcome. Love is an intervention. Why do we not choose it again and again?"

SPCA and Cat Welfare Society are offering a $2,000 Reward* for information leading to the apprehension and prosecution of the person/s who may be responsible for the suspected poisoning of cats at Bayshore Park condominium since Thursday, 11 June. Please call SPCA at 6287 5355 ext 9. You may be required to assist the police in their investigation. The affected felines were found unconscious or disoriented. Five have since died or have been put down. Cruelty to animals is a crime under Singapore law and is punishable by imprisonment of up to 12 months and/or fine of up to $10,000.

The other side of the rainbow

Some nights stay up till dawn,
as the moon sometimes does for the sun.
Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way
of a well, then lifted out into light

The other side of the rainbow, on the other side of this great big world.

Something opens our wings. Something
makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us.
We taste only sacredness.

If I open my eyes, I can see the blue sky.
And the sunlight on my face, and the sounds of birds...
It's easier than fear and all its derivatives...



Catmasutra cat art lands in Hong Kong!

Catmasutra is in Hong Kong!
Cat of Prosperity(18 x 24")

After a flurry of events, the paintings have safely arrived in Hong Kong ;) What better way to introduce catmaSutra cat art in today's somewhat dampened climate than the "Cat of Prosperity". Taking inspiration from The Maneki Neko or the 招き猫, the CatmaSutra cat of Prosperity is armed not with one but four prosperity charms. The gold coin is called a koban, (used during the Edo period in Japan), and it is deemed to worth ten million ryō (千万両). The mallet, on the other hand, can be traced back to Daikoku, variously known to be the god of wealth, or of the household, particularly the kitchen. He is recognised by his eyes-wide-closed and ear-to-ear smile, and a flat black hat (hmm...perhaps the catmasSutra cat comes from his household ;) He is often portrayed carrying a golden 'magic money' mallet called a Uchide Nokozuchi. The golden mallet can magically produce anything Daikokuten desires when he strikes it. Quite customary for Maneki Neko, the catmaSutra cat wears a red collar but here with a Kame, a tailed tortoise longevity charm as they are fabled to live ten thousand years.

Last but not least, is the catmaSutra cat's very own Tai Fish (sea beam), a symbol of good fortune as it is almost always depicted with its captor, the god Ebisu. Ebisu is one of the Seven Lucky Gods (or Shichifukujin), and he embodies candour, wealth, the morning sun, and young children as well as being the patron god for fishermen and fair business practices. As the myth goes, Ebisu was born without bones and was cast out to sea in a boat of reeds. Despite his hardships, he eventually evolved into the ever-smiling god, Ebisu.

Of course, more valuable than any of these prosperity charms is the ability to smile, come what may, in good and bad times. That's the essense of the catmaSutra cat!

Wonder without Willpower (30 x 30")

Inside water, a waterwheel turns.
A star circulates with the moon.

We live in the night ocean,
what are these lights?
You have said what you are.
I am what I am.
Your actions in my head,
my head here in my hands
with something circling inside.
I have no name
for what circles
so perfectly.



Catmasutra cat art in Hong Kong!

Finally, most of the preparations for my catmaSutra cat art exhibition in Hong Kong are done! Hopefully now I could also spend a little more time blogging... so stay tuned for more sneak previews of the new pieces I've done for this exhibition, "catmaSutra - From the Depths of My Lullaby". The exhibition will open in the Gallery by the Harbour ( Level 2, Ocean City) at Harbour city, Tsimshatsui from 4 to 28 July.

Art is somewhat like the DNA of the artist. It encapsulates a personal history in an external form, a signature or a finger print. You can always find traces of the artist in his art, a hidden story or a layered emotion. Perhaps that's what makes art interesting - it's always personal. And because it's personal, the potential to connect becomes evident. After all, we are the human condition. As such, art is one of the few media that can be pure. In other words, there is no need to layer a lifestyle aspiration over it for commercial purposes!

"From the Depths of My Lullaby" is a tribute to the happy story that we all know. It's a lullaby, a soothing song, that lulls us to sleep (when we were kids of course). Each catmaSutra painting has always been about this simplicity, this purity of emotion that we seemingly forget while growing up. Painting and playing with my cats always bring back this feeling - quiet, peaceful. These are the two things I grew up with, though in our haste, we tend to forget what we love. Our lives become too busy and complicated; we over-value what we think we know as adults versus what we know as children in our hearts. Hopefully, this collection of catmaSutra cat paintings rekindles a little of everything that we believe to be true as children.