Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara meets president and her pet cat

Taipei-President Tsai Ing-wen (???) on Monday said she and her pet cat met renowned Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara earlier in the day as she looked forward to his upcoming solo exhibition in Taipei.

"Cookie Tsai (???) and I have met Yoshitomo Nara at last!" Tsai wrote on her Facebook page in Chinese.

Tsai praised the Yoshitomo Nara exhibition, which will open 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 presidential residence Monday morning. They chatted, he said, and from that "a meaningful morning" began.

He also shared a photo showing him holding Cookie in his arms and said he had plenty of contact with the cat during the meeting.

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

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

The show, scheduled to take place from March 12 to June 20 at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, will include the first overseas display of the artist's 2020 painting "Miss Moonlight," which debuted at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo last summer, according to co-organizer the General Association of Chinese Culture (GACC).

The government-funded association on Monday thanked Nara, a Germany-trained artist, for using art to console the victims of the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, and for bringing Taiwan and Japan closer with his art.

Late last year, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, which represents Japanese interests in Taiwan, designated 2021 as the year of consolidating the Japan-Taiwan friendship to mark the disaster's 10th anniversary and thank Taiwan for its help to earthquake victims.

Meanwhile, Katy Chien (???), who runs Chinese contemporary art magazine "ARTCO Monthly," revealed on social media that Nara would leave Taiwan to return home Monday.

Describing the artist as a person who prefers maintaining a low-profile, Chien said Nara rejected all interview requests during his stay in Taiwan, and as he came to Taiwan quietly, he will also leave quietly.

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

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel