Malene Wagner is a Danish art historian with experience in the international museum, auction and art publishing world, having worked in both Denmark, Australia and the United Kingdom. She holds an M.A. in Art History from the University of Copenhagen (2010), where she specialised in Japonisme and Japanese art of the 19-20th century. In 2014, she founded Tiger | Tanuki to promote Japanese art via an informal aesthetic approach with the aim to inspire a new generation of Japanese art lovers and collectors.
Malene has contributed to several publications such as Apollo Magazine, Kinfolk, Japanomania in the Nordic Countries and Journal of Japonisme, as well as having curated exhibitions and given talks on Japanese art and culture internationally. She also writes for the British Japan Society. You can read her review of the British Museum's Manga マンガ (2019) exhibition here.
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The name Tiger | Tanuki reflects the spirit of Japan and the foundation of this company. The tiger (Jap. tora), although not native to Japan, plays a significant role in Japanese art, signifying the virtue of courage as well as harmony of the opposites. Being introduced to Japan through Buddhism, the tiger is in some instances seen as the emblem of the West and in this context points to the cultural exchange between East and West. The tanuki, one the other hand, is found in Japanese mythology and with its supernatural powers has a more humorous and gentle side to it (although it often acts mischievously). A racoon-like dog with a long fuzzy tail, the tanuki is characterised by its large scrotum with which it can drape itself or use as an umbrella on rainy days among other things. To us the tanuki represents creativity and informality.