A Mirror to a Landscape, a Poem of the Body | Ayami Ueda Interview


Ayami Ueda "Shining in the Distance/Fingertip of the Gaze #3" 2021, 80.3×117cm, oil on canvas

The Whitestone Ginza New Gallery is holding a group exhibition entitled "Dimensions II" featuring the works of six gifted young artists, as a project to nurture the future of contemporary art. Its goal is to discover new talent and create opportunities for their presentation. And by exhibiting the works of several artists in the same space, it aims to bring new perspectives for both the viewers and the artists themselves.

For this exhibition, we conducted interviews with the six participating artists in order to reveal their inner worlds. We asked them the same set of questions to find out how they developed their current artistic expressions, and unravel the relationship between art and modern society as depicted in their artworks.

Ayami Ueda's "Quest for Distance through the Body" Using Flickering Landscapes

Group Exhibition of Gifted Artists:Dimensions II

1. Why did you become an artist, and what makes you keep creating art?

ー I became an artist because I liked drawing pictures. I keep doing it because I feel rescued by communicating with other people that I can only experience by creating art.

2. What do you think are the characteristics that define your artworks?

ー The divided image within the canvas and the repeated use of gaps in a single scene give it an indefinite appearance when viewed as a whole.

Ayami Ueda "Shining in the Distance/Fingertip of the Gaze #4" (2021, 100×80.5cm, oil on canvas)

3. Your artwork entitled "Shining in the Distance/Fingertip of the Gaze #4" is a key visual of the exhibition. What kind of work is it?

ー I made drawings repeatedly while looking at a photograph I took, and then I made it into an oil painting. I repeatedly painted many small segments to form a larger overall picture.

4. Are there any artists or artworks that influenced you? What do you like about them?

ー Yuko Ozawa and Tahi Saihate. I like how their works carefully pursue the relationship between words and "myself" as the reader of those words.

Group Exhibition of Gifted Artists: Dimensions II

5. What does "art" mean to you?

ー I want art to be something that enriches people's hearts.

6. What are your expectations from this group exhibition?

ー I am curious about what kinds of artworks are created by other artists.

7. What are your plans for the future?

ー I have not been able to read books recently, so I want to catch up on my reading. I look forward to reading books like Rei Nagai's "Underwater Philosophers."

Ayami Ueda "Shining in the Distance/Fingertip of the Gaze #5" (2021, 65.3×52.8cm, oil on canvas)

In Ayami Ueda's paintings, you can vividly experience the gentle rustling of leaves in the wind, the sparkling sunlight dancing on glass surfaces, and the subtle sound of flowing water if you listen closely. Within these flickering landscapes, she portrays the outline of the "self," which ebbs and flows like waves in the sea.

The Group Exhibition of Gifted Artists: Dimensions II will run until October 21, 2023. If you can't visit the physical gallery, don't worry! You can explore this extraordinary exhibition anytime through the Whitestone Gallery Online Store.

View exhibition details »

Born in Kyoto in 1995, Ayami Ueda graduated from the Seian University of Art and Design, Fine Arts Department, with a major in Painting in 2018, consequently completed her study as a research student in 2019. She was awarded at “Kyo-ten 80th Anniversary Exhibition” (2016), “the 35th Ueno Royal Museum Grand Prize Exhibition” (2017), and the competition of SOMPO Museum of Art “FACE 2023” (2023: Mae Moritani Jury Award). As well as the group shows in various locations, she held solo exhibitions in Kyoto and Shiga (2017, 2021). The paintings of Ueda, in which her concept “a quest for distance through the body” is integrated, depart from the photographed landscapes. Most of the landscapes represented by Ueda include reflective structures like glasses and mirrors because the outline of the reflected body can be looked at objectively. The outline of the body, which is away from “awareness of myself”, will be blended with the sceneries around, synchronized with the gaze of others, and finally become of a vestige of the passing. A flickering image before a word like negative film burned into the memory. The gaze always explores somewhere not here.

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