The history of human-animal coexistence is long and ancient, going back to Lascaux’s time, people have tamed animals and sometimes they have shared their lives as pets and sometimes as hunting partners.
The ancient Egyptians gave their animals names, and the ancient Greeks buried their graves for their deceased dogs. It was customary to dig and erect a tombstone, and the owner would inscribe a message on the grave to form a form of grief.

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It is a long history, but it was during the 17th and 8th centuries that animals began to be the subject of paintings.
Animals and plants were often illustrated as part of natural history studies. However, the emergence of animals as a genre of painting, known as “animal painting,” was relatively late.

So why do people paint animals?
For one thing, it’s meant as a symbolic motif.
Although they are not real animals (at least I have never seen them), for example, the unicorn played a role representing girl’s purity in the painting of middle age.
Take, for example, SELUGI KIM’s work with girls and animals.

40cm x 40cm
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The girl in her painting is not with a friend or family member, much less a school teacher or Mickey Mouse, but a lone flamingo.

Girl sitting on a flamingo
72.7cm x 53cm

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She says, “There’s a lot of disguising going on in society in the name of culture and love.” When viewed with those words, a world with only flamingos and girls is the opposite of the contradictions and purity of society. It is tempting to read the story as telling a kind of idealistic world.

What about the “images” of animals?
For example, the wolf is always the villain in stories like “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Three Little Pigs”. And if you hear the word “wolf”, I doubt that we often think of good moralists. Kariya casually mentions the fate of the wolf that this story has created.
The wolf has become a hated person thanks to the stories spun and told by humans. She describes the consequences of manipulating a certain image, and the people who continue to fix that image in place.

50cm x 61cm 

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What about from a pet perspective?
How have people portrayed their pets and their own different kinds of families? What about that story?

Hagiwara’s painting, entitled “we use botanical shampoo,” will be accompanied by the following The dogs portrayed, I think, must be cleansing themselves with botanical shampoo on a regular basis. It’s very contemporary.

We use botanical shampoo
90cm x 65cm

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On the other hand, there are some artworks that are drawn from the perspective of pets. The paintings of Shuntaro Kubo are a case in point.
He depicts animals that are armed from the point of view that “the excessive love that pets receive is sometimes one-sided”

Heavy Army (Scottish Fold)
31.5cm x 24.5cm
170cm x 86cm

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Of course, each animal has its own world, and humans are not always in it. The world in which Naganuma depicts lions and squirrels at ease is a world that is completely reserved for animals. The animals live in their own world with their own rules. It’s hard to see this in reality. This is because humans are in charge everywhere. In that sense, it is somewhat sad.

Touch (tactile)
44.5cm x 36.5cm

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In paintings of animals, you can read their unique stories, just like in a jungle.
It would be a good idea to set up a different world of animals on a wall in your home.


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