Duration : 11:00-19:00 (closed on Monday)
Opening : 2022.11.05-2022.12.18
Venue : Room 108, No. 3, Lane 1363, Middle Fuxing Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China 200031
Tel : +86 (0)21 5496 1918
Web : https://www.shunartdesign.com
Artist : 上前智祐｜Chiyu UEMAE
“My hands are trained to do everything, to inscribe the images of my brain through the nerves on the selected material.”
— Chiyu Uemae
Shun Art Gallery is honored to announce that Chiyu Uemae’s (1920-2018) Printmaking Exhibition “Quadrangle” will be held in Fuxing Space. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Shanghai, presenting 24 original prints from the artist’s mature stage.
Born in Kyoto, Japan in 1920, Chiyu Uemae started his artistic career with the Gutai School founded by his mentor Jiro YOSHIHARA, the founder of the avant-garde Gutai School. In 1953, he went up to meet Yoshihara, after which the artist participated in all Gutai exhibitions until the group disbanded. Yoshihara’s requirements for Uemae were extremely strict. He has been overthrown and rebuilt over and over, honing his style from the other members of the Gutai.
Chiyu Uemae’s pictures are full of changeable accumulations and striking colors, sometimes the colors are hidden in the lower layers, and the surface layer is monochromatic. The rich, concrete visual intensity created from the materiality of this material comes from the Gutai Manifesto (published by Jiro Yoshihara in 1956) “Working in a more intense and proactive way. It is not the result that matters, but the act of leaving a trace of the self in the material”.
Different from the performative works made by many artists such as Shiraga Kazuo, he has always injected his own experience into his works, leaving a unique “trace of self”. Benefiting from the apprenticeship experience while studying dyeing in Kyoto, and the young memory immersed in non-figurative design thinking, the sewing practice has become an important source for the maturity of Uemae’s artistic style. Most Gutai Artists give the impression that they complete their work instantaneously with some drive, Chiyu Uemae is an exception, he is characterized by layers of repeated small movements, highlighting the materiality of the painting, and it is abstract and absolute.
“I used to work in shipyards and steel mills for many years. These environments and settings, and the materials I encountered in these factories, became the foundation of my work.”
— Chiyu Uemae
Chiyu Uemae grew up in a poor family, and hard work is his daily life. He never thought of selling paintings for a living. In his diary in 1947, he wrote: “I have to work to earn a living. But my life is sustained by painting.” He repeated patterns, creating with intuition and a sense of life. Thus, he “rejects literary elements to paint first” or anything interpretive and representative.In this sense, there is no direct metaphor or retrospective trace for these patterns. His dots and lines are the breath and heartbeat of a painter eagerly living his daily life, where his unparalleled true artistic truth lies.
In the later period, Chiyu Uemae cooperated with the printmaker, and worked with them in the workshop to study the production process suitable for his work. Due to the variability of materials in Uemae’s works, the complexity of the process is constantly changing, and the artist is also inspired by such work to continue new creations.
“I have to work to make a living. But my life is sustained by painting.”
— Chiyu Uemae
In April 1958, in the exhibition “New Paintings/World Exhibition – Informel and Gutai” held at Takashimaya Department Store in Osaka, Michel Tapié, the founder of Art informel, enthusiastically praised the Chiyu Uemae’s works, the shapeless art that seeks freedom resonates with Uemae’s art across cultural and linguistic boundaries. Uemae said, “My hands are trained to be omnipotent, engraving images of my brain through nerves on selected materials.” For Uemae, the pursuit of the feeling at his fingertips, that is, of his Gutai-like actuality is an art in itself.