Top

Uematsu Eiji Exhibition

Register/Login JP

Spring Soil

April 16-April 27, 2022
Shibunkaku, Kyoto

The year 2022 marks fifty years since Uematsu Eiji began his career in ceramics by moving to Tokyo and starting his position at a regional ceramic factory. This was followed by further relocations, first to Shigaraki, known for its long ceramics tradition and highquality local clay, then to Iga. Uematsu thus has left behind a track record of already half a century of highly original and idiosyncratic work that has culminated in various acclaimed exhibitions in galleries and museums across Japan, and time and again even abroad (New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Taipei, Guam…). The present exhibition is the second time we hold a solo show of Uematsu's works, after Mud and Stars in 2017.

Uematsu Eiji, in a way, is a poet of clay. Clay corresponds to words, but also there is diction in the choices the artist makes: the specific shapes to achieve, or the degree of textures involved. Then finally the firing that concludes this process of articulation as if adding the final exclamation mark to a lyrical statement. Clay is a metaphor that, in a simplified and reduced mode, alludes to a larger whole.

Uematsu thinks nature. Reading through his essays and catalog texts published over the years, one notices he rarely talks about his works or intentions directly. Images of nature, of peaceful harmony with one's surroundings abound. Birds flying, rays of sunlight peaking through forests, water flowing, green of the leaves, wetness of the soil. All is one, therefore in one we can find all. This is the underlying principle of his creations. And maybe clay is a particularly suited material for that sort of approach: it is a type of earth, and earth is where everything began. In fact, the kanji character for “clay” is the same as for “earth” or “soil.”

In encountering Uematsu's works, the viewer experiences objects that explore the relationship of nature and artifice, an endless tension that is inherent in all artistic expression. It requires their participation to complete the art, that is, to envision aesthetic viewpoints the works only allude to. The objects are open to interpretation but all of them contain as much of the artist's ideas as they are manifestations of the raw, unmediated presence of clay that is a stand-in for the larger cosmos of things—in that sense, they seek to expose the viewer's roots and reconnect them to the fertile soil they are themselves made of, which, in essence, is life.
Browse Works Read Chronology
.
Place Where Water Appears
Clay with porcelain
H18.7 x 19.5 x 15 cm
2022
SOLD
Dried White
Porcelain
H8.5 x 18.2 x 28.6 cm
2022
JPY 450,000
Coming to Meet
Porcelain
H33 x 16 x 7.5 cm
2022
JPY 450,000
Soil Ball
Clay
H24.5 x 30 cm
2021
SOLD
Black and White
Clay
11.5 x 10 cm
2022
JPY 300,000
Air and Light
Clay
H19 x 17.5 x 16 cm
2021
JPY 250,000
Installation view: Seat. Ceramic, 51.5 x 48 x 12.5 cm, 2008.

Chronology

1949
Born in Kobe (Hyōgo Prefecture)
1972
Uematsu begins creating reliefs to study the various qualities of clay, soon after he starts to work as a ceramist in Tokyo
1975
Moves to Shigaraki in Shiga Prefecture, working at a ceramics factory while creating his own works on the side
1982
Moves to Marubashi in Iga (Mie Prefecture) and constructs his own kiln that operates on firewood and kerosene. He experiments with open-field firing
1996
Uematsu is invited as an artist in residence at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park
2007
The Shape of Soil, solo exhibition at the Museum of Arts & Crafts, Itami (Hyōgo)
2009
Soil/Fire—To the Root, solo exhibition at the Kōmimachi Kōgen Museum of Art
2015
Wins the Paramita Grand Prix of Crafts of the Paramita Museum (Mie Prefecture)
2016
The Sky that the Rabbits Saw, solo exhibition at Kyoto City University of Arts Art Gallery (@KCUA, Kyoto)
2017
Mud and Stars, solo exhibition at Shibunkaku, Kyoto))
2018
Chapter of Soil, solo exhibition at Shiseido Window Gallery (Shiseido Store, Tokyo)
2020
Soil and Fire, solo exhibition at the Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyōgo
Installation view: Place Where Buds Appear. Ceramic, H27.5 x 41 x 22 cm, 2022.
”The warmth of the sunlight, and the soil under one’s feet softened from ephemeral showers… fertile shoots of horsetail begin to appear. New buds on the trees are swelling. Birds in the fields lightly moving from branch to branch, and then, pecking on the spring soil.”
Uematsu Eiji
Empty Crown
Clay
25.5 (diameter) x H4.4 cm
2019
JPY 250,000
Octagonal Shape
Clay
17 x 14 cm
2022
JPY 450,000
Cone Shape
Clay
H20 x 18 cm
2022
JPY 450,000
Soil Play
Clay
25.5 x 25 x 7 cm
2022
JPY 350,000
Soil, Fire, Water
Clay
H20 x 17 cm
2012
JPY 250,000
Budding Human
Clay
H18.5 x 11 x 9 cm
2015
SOLD
Pit-fired Flower Vase
Clay
H10 x 13 cm
2013
SOLD
Contact Us Sign Up For Newsletter