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Imura art gallery is pleased to announce "SHIN/EN," a solo exhibition by artist Jumpei Ueda, who explores the potential of Japanese yakimono ceramics in art through diverse forms of artistic expression.

Questioning the cultural and historical assumptions that inform conventional yakimono, as well as the concept, decoration, functionality, and uses of vessels (utsuwa), Ueda’s perspective leads to the creation of art that focuses on how these are related to one another.

The artist won the Gotoh Cultural Award for best new talent in 2010, taking up a residency in Mexico the same year, arranged by the Gotoh Memorial Foundation (now The Tokyu Foundation). This exhibition consists mainly of works that Ueda included in a presentation of the fruits of his study in Mexico at Yokohama Civic Art Gallery in January 2019, with the support of the foundation.

Ueda explains that, during his research, contact with archaeological artifacts that demonstrated the climate, culture, and ancient civilizations of Mexico made him think about the changes that have taken place within the Japanese yakimono tradition that has taken form and been passed down over the centuries, and about the connections between civilization, technology, and art.

Noticing a quadrangle in the shape that was formed by the surface of water in his hands after scooping up some water, Ueda focused on the quadrilateral pattern as a way of grasping the links between human activity from primordial times to the present. He has since incorporated such patterns as elements in his art.

A major change that occurred after this residency was the addition of brick, tile, and fine ceramics*1 as materials in his art, in addition to the conventional ceramic materials he had used up to that point. He selected brick, the oldest architectural material in the world; fine ceramics, the latest technology in the history of yakimono; and tiles (Awaji tiles*2), which developed and continue to evolve under the influence of the Japanese climate. These materials brought their individual cultural backgrounds and physical properties to his work, providing textures and coloring that enable unique forms of artistic expression.

The exhibition space at imura art gallery, which has a characteristic brick floor, allows the viewer to notice the overlap between yakimono as art and yakimono functioning in modern life, as well as the overlap between the rich coloring of the art and the exhibition space.

Employing this diversity of yakimono, the exhibition attempts to provide a visualization of human activity—from the initial discovery of laws and principles to the present day—and of the relationship between activity, matter, and time, creating a coherent experience for viewers.

*1 Fine ceramics
Fine ceramics are part of the category of ceramics that includes glass and conventional ceramics such as porcelain and earthenware. They use highly refined materials and are manufactured to precise specifications to meet advanced performance and functionality requirements. Fine ceramics are widely used for components in automobiles, smartphones, and other products.

*2 Awaji tiles
One of the three main types of tiles in Japan, Awaji tiles are manufactured on Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture. They are made from high-quality clay unique to Awaji Island, and consist mainly of ibushi gawara (smoked tiles), which are smoked during manufacture so as to form a layer of carbon on their surface. They are known for their beautiful, fine-grained finish.










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JUMPEI UEDA Solo exhibition “SHIN/EN”

Sep 27 (Fri) - Oct 26 (Sat) , 2019

More press release pdf: View PDF

上田順平個展「シン/ エン」

Sep 27 (Fri) - Oct 26 (Sat) , 2019

作家在廊予定日: 9 月27 日(金)、毎週水曜・土曜

プレスリリースPDFはこちら: 上田順平個展2019プレスリリース