Akiko Ueda A Walk of Broken Theatre

2021.04.17 - 2021.05.29
Akiko Ueda "DÉJÀ-MAIS-VU (A Walk of Broken Theatre)", 2020
photo by Philippe De Gobert

 Yuka Tsuruno Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Akiko Ueda, “A Walk of Broken Theatre” from April 17th to May 29th, 2021. Ueda, whose interest lies in the fluidity of events that shift at every moment, has been striving to develop her own methods of painting and forming images in the pictorial space by reflecting on and analyzing her creative process. Cultivated during her current residence in Belgium, in this exhibition she shows paintings comprising an awareness of varied time and causal relationships, as the creative process itself asserts its influence on image-making.

 In recent years, Ueda has been paying attention to how her brushstrokes themselves become elements for exploring the canvas, by focusing on her painting technique. She has subsequently developed a technique that layers pictorial transformations by tracing spontaneous brushstrokes and meditating on the moment that an image is born and the time that exists within.
 Notably, in her current series “DÉJÀ-MAIS-VU,” she uses a color as close as possible to the gray of the linen and re-traces the brushstrokes that were first laid down. In comparison to her colorful earlier works, a higher degree of abstraction of image can be observed, and increased attention on the painting process itself is evident. Ueda describes this visual sensation in the construction of the image using the neologism “DÉJÀ-MAIS-VU” which combines the two French terms “déjà-vu” (already seen) and “jamais vu” (never seen). The term expresses the simultaneous experience of images and brushstrokes in the pictorial space emerging as something familiar, while at the same time weaving something foreign and new. This coincides with her methodology wherein spontaneous brushstrokes lead to the materialization of an unexpected figure through an indispensable ruminative process. In employing such a means, Ueda sees this as a practice to concretely visualize the time and space within, as well as the developments that manifest on the canvas itself.

 The title of the exhibition, “A Walk of Broken Theatre” is taken from a work within the “DÉJÀ-MAIS-VU” series, but motifs related to theatre also exist in earlier works by Ueda. They appear as a metaphor for an empty space, as well as one in which myriad things are bound to occur. For Ueda the site encompasses not only the interior of the building but also the dual relationship with its surrounding environment, as well as a living presence that keeps changing according to events. This is also fundamentally linked to her use of the pictorial space as a site for exploration and practice as a new image is weaved through the ruminative recurrence of events.
Artist Profile

Born in 1983 in Kyoto. Ueda lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She received a BFA in Painting from Musashino Art University in 2006, and an MFA in Painting from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels in 2020. She was a recipient of the POLA Art Foundation Grant in 2018. Her solo exhibitions include DÉJÀ-MAIS-VU (CENTRALE.lab, Brussels, 2021), When a Painting Is Looking at Painter’s Sleeping Face (Dai-ichi Life South Gallery, Tokyo, 2015), ARKO 2012 / UEDA AKIKO (Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki, 2012), and Sometimes, Our World Must Be a Big Bouquet (Kiyosu City Haruhi Art Museum, Kiyosu, 2009). Group shows include POLA Museum Annex Exhibition 2021 – Automation and Construction (POLA Museum Annex, Tokyo, 2021), Night Walk, Day Sleep (Gallery Medium, Bratislava, 2019), Closing and Neo Vision (Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum, Nagano, 2017), and VOCA 2011 (The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, 2011).
Exhibition Outline

Akiko Ueda, A Walk of Broken Theatre
Date: April 17 – May 22, 2021 * extended until May 29
Opening hours: Tue – Sat, 11am – 6pm
* Closed on Sunday, Monday, and National holidays

Works in Exhibition

Installation View