Japanese sculptor Sakura Hanafusa carves whimsical cat sculptures often carrying a range of foods, including vegetables, sweets, and biscuits. In one of the feline statues, a snowy-haired creature peeks out from underneath a vanilla ice cream cone, while in another, a smiling duo clings to mushrooms and acorns. Adorable and playful, Hanafusa’s poses sometimes prompt interaction and mimicry like with the seven cats pawing for high fives, which ask passersby to raise their hands, too.
Hanafusa whittles camphor and then adds details to their noses, paws, and whiskers with oil paint. The characters are modeled from family and friends’ pets, all of which have playful expressions whether grinning or shy and coy. While a few of Hanafusa’s pieces are the size of real animals, others would only fit into the palm of a hand, and some merge with other objects, such as his collection of plump felines with orange, satsuma bodies.
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