The Adventures of Tamarind & Bandit: 大猫物語 Bakeneko Monogatari is the first solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based photographer Satomi Sugiyama. Drawing from a 35mm double exposure series shot across two continents, the photos feature carefully composed cityscapes mainly of Sugiyama’s hometown of Osaka, juxtaposed with larger-than-life depictions of Tamarind and Bandit, her loyal sidekicks back home in the States. The fantastical worlds depicted in these images are created using in-camera double exposure techniques, demonstrating Sugiyama’s technical mastery in the analog realm.
The playful cinematic imagery gives a nod to the classic Japanese kaiju films from Sugiyama’s youth, while paying tribute to feline photo masters like Masahisa Fukase, Walter Chandoha, and Satoru Tsuda’s notorious Nameneko delinquent cat gang of the ‘80s. At once personal and universal, these works aim to support Sugiyama’s mission to elevate cat art to a higher level of appreciation.
“After working over 20 years on film photography, I wanted to remind myself that photography doesn’t always have to be serious. This project was born purely out of the love for my cats and film photography, and my ultimate goal is to create cinematic and ambiguous images that tell stories to the audiences while hopefully making them happy at the same time.”