Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara meets president and her pet cat

Taipei, March 8 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Monday that she and her pet cat met well-known Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara on Monday as she was looking forward to his upcoming solo exhibition in Taipei.

“Cookie Tsai (蔡 想想) and I finally met Yoshitomo Nara!” Tsai wrote in Chinese on her Facebook page.

Tsai praised the Yoshitomo Nara exhibition, which opens on March 12, as one of the most important events in the Taiwan-Japan Friendship Year.

Nara tweeted that he had breakfast with Tsai at the president’s residence on Monday morning. They chatted, he said, and from then on “a meaningful morning” began.

He also shared a photo of him holding Cookie and said he had a lot of contact with the cat during the meeting.

In April 2020, Nara thanked Taiwan on Twitter for donating masks to Japan and also expressed his desire to hold a large-scale show in Taiwan at the time.

Nara flew to Taiwan on February 14, where he followed mandatory quarantine procedures and health management protocols before joining preparations for the first exhibition of his works in Taiwan.

The exhibition, scheduled for March 12 through June 20 at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, will feature the first overseas exhibition of the artist’s 2020 painting “Miss Moonlight”, which was held at Mori Art last summer Tokyo Museum Debuted According to Co-Organizer of the General Association of Chinese Culture (GACC).

The government-funded association thanked the German-trained artist Nara on Monday for using art to comfort the victims of the massive earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan on March 11, 2011 and to bring Taiwan and Japan closer to his art.

At the end of last year, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, which represents Japanese interests in Taiwan, declared 2021 the year of Japanese-Taiwanese friendship for the 10th anniversary of the catastrophe and thanked Taiwan for its aid to earthquake victims.

Meanwhile, Katy Chien (簡 秀枝), who runs the Chinese contemporary art magazine ARTCO Monthly, announced on social media that Nara was leaving Taiwan to return home on Monday.

Describing the artist as a person who prefers to be reserved, Chien said Nara had turned down all interview requests while he was in Taiwan, and since he came to Taiwan quietly, he would leave quietly too.

The GACC confirmed that Nara will be leaving Taiwan on Monday or Tuesday.

(By Yeh Su-ping, Yeh Kuan-yin and Elizabeth Hsu)

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