Sasuke サスケ by Masahisa Fukase
All the books are sold and shipped with with a unique tote bag with Sasuke -lost cat- picture on it
My material, always starts with what is nearest, with the people I can just reach out and touch.
Over the decades, a variety of cats came into Fukase’s life, and many served as subject matter for his photographs. The most significant were Sasuke and Momoe, who frolic endlessly in the present collection.
Remarkably, these two cats feature in three of the eight books of photographs that Fukase was personally involved in putting together, which gives us an idea of the passion with which he threw himself into taking their photographs.
"People often ask me why I take photographs of cats. What an idiotic question! I’m a professional photographer – and I am mad about cats. … It makes total sense. No one else comes close to the wealth of my experience with cats; no one understands their feelings better; and no one has spent more hours playing around with them in a mountain lodge. My answer is always: “You should do as I do!" M.F
Fukase took his first photographs of Sasuke in 1977. He had taken in a little calico kitten and called it Sasuke, but this kitten disappeared after only ten days. Fukase put up missing cat posters all around his neighbourhood.
Strictly speaking, there were two Sasukes. The cat that features in his photographs is nearly always the second.
For the next few weeks, Fukase took Sasuke with him wherever he went, and photographed him every day. His zeal paid off. The following year he published a collection of photographs of Sasuke, entitled Viva! Sasuke.
I believe an understanding of what Fukase was trying to do when he took his cat photographs holds clues for an understanding of his entire motivation as a photographer. Which is why I can say that it was cats that taught Fukase the secret of his art.