Tokuhiro Kawai (1971-present, Japanese)

Tokuhiro Kawai (1971- present, Japanese) is a surrealist contemporary artist who weaves stories into his art. Sometimes relying on fantasy and magic, his works ignore gravity and perspective, stimulating thought and imagination with vivid colors. Kawai’s “regal” cats are whimsical; whereas other works are more serious, depicting cats as gods and devils.

His paintings of Regal Cats where Scottish Folds appear as kings find the cat the pampered center of attention of cherubs fluttering around and dotingly meeting every one of the cats’ needs.

Cats are Kawai’s favorite subject. He represents them as gods and conquerors who are sometimes power hungry.  This is apparent in the painting Captor where a cat stalks an angel from above and in the painting Ignorant Person where the cat sitting on a pillar has killed an angel as if it were a bird. 

In Umbrella Beach, Kawai uses the proverb of the cat predicting rain by washing itself. In Sandman, Kawai is illustrating his connection with other living creatures as well as the cat. 

No matter demon or god, Tokuhiro Kawai captures the cat’s innate nature perfectly.


Tokuhiro Kawai Idea of a Certain Cat, 2004, Oil and Tempera on Board

Idea of a Certain Cat


Regal Cat 2, Tokuhiro Kawai


Tame Cats Optical Illusion 2006 Tokuhiro Kawai

Tame Cat’s Optical Illusion, 2006


The occupation of a cat 2010 Tokuhiro Kawai

The Occupation of a Cat, 2010


Tokuhiro Kawai Smolder Thinking 2008

Smolder Thinking, 2008

Tokuhiro Kawai, Cherubs and Cat

Cherubs and Cat


Tokuhiro Kawai, My Friend's Cats

My Friend’s Cats


Two Regal Cats Tokuhiro Kawai

Two Regal Cats


Tokuhiro Kawai Ignorant Person 2004 cat art

Ignorant Person, 2004


Tokuhiro Kawai Captor, 2005 cat art

Captor, 2005


Tokuhiro Kawai umbrella beach cat art

Umbrella Beach


Tokuhiro Kawai, Sandman 2005 cat art

Sandman, 2005


Fairy in Garden, 2006 Tokuhiro Kawai cat art

Fairy in Garden, 2006


Each Idea, 2005 Tokuhiro Kawai cat art

Each Idea, 2005


Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you.  Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 



Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Laura Vocelle

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: