Hitomi Uchikura Solo Exhibition:Lumière
《Lumière》(detail) paper, cut-out, emboss 2012 Tochigi Preectural Museum

  • 内倉 ひとみ 個展:<i>Lumière</i>

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Hitomi Uchikura Solo Exhibition:Lumière

September 2 (Fri.) - 25 (Sun.) , 2022

Art Front Gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibit of Hitomi Uchikura : Lumière whose work is known for the motif of light, in use of mirror, lens and paper.
Date September 2 (Fri.) - 25 (Sun.) , 2022
Hours Wed. - Fri. 12:00 - 19:00 / Sat. Sun. and 9.23 (National Holiday) 11:00 - 17:00
closed Monday, Tuesday
artist at the gallery September 2 ed(Fri), 3rd (Sat), 9th(Fri), 10th (Sat), 11th (Sun), 16th (Fri), 17th (Sat), 23rd (Fri), 24th (Sat), 25th (Sun), PM
Hitomi Uchikura: Lumière — Light and Resonance

Kazuko Aono (director, Hara Museum ARC)

In late 19th century Paris, the impressionists dared to break with established painting traditions and began to capture the momentary light that illuminated landscapes using oil paints and a light touch. About a hundred years later Hitomi Uchikura uses materials such as paper, resin, leather, lenses, metal and mirrors to express the drama of light itself, whether in her hometown of Nasu or in Paris and Berlin, where she has been based since her participation in an overseas program by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. In her series Lumière she pursues the depths of light using nothing but large sheets of white paper randomly embossed with round shapes of different sizes. And yet, within moments the artworks flood their viewers with images reminiscent of sunlight filtered through swaying treetops, or a diver’s air bubbles floating in the water, or biological cells resonating and dividing. Eventually, the viewer’s gaze is drawn towards the inside of the endlessly expanding particles of light, or to their immediate periphery…

In mid-80s Japan, as the Bubble Era became visible on the horizon and social advancements such as the Equal Opportunity Employment Act were finally realized, there was a group of young women artists labelled Cho-Shojo, the “supergirls,” characterized by their energetic, adventurous installation-based art. Uchikura was one of these supergirls, and she created works that prophesied a bright, positive future, drawn with strong, agile lines using suihi paints on cardboard and vinyl sheets. Around this time, she made her critical breakthrough following her selection for the fifth “Hara Annual”, a group exhibition held at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Shinagawa each year for ten years after its foundation in 1979 (the museum was closed in spring 2021).

Eventually, Uchikura felt a vague unease with the direction she had taken and began to search for her own artistic calling, independent of trends and critical attention. What is her instinct, not her intellect, truly trying to pursue? What is her body attempting to conceive and give birth to? One day, Uchikura’s atelier is flooded by a sudden shower of light. In that moment, as a heap of broken mirrors outside the atelier threw myriad reflections through the window and enveloped Uchikura in the beautiful, almost magical light of the Here and Now, she had found the theme to which she would devote her life.

She tells me, “There are particles of light lurking in the cells of the human body. When they interact with the beautiful light outside, the light within us humans is activated and regains its former brilliance. Waking the light within causes life to shine, for a moment. It is like a physical reaction.”
Her words remind me of the story of Kobo Daishi. The legendary Buddhist monk endured harsh spiritual training in a cave at Cape Muroto when he felt the morning star enter his mouth. At that moment, he attained enlightenment and became one with the universe.

We are now at a vital point of the With-Corona/Post-Corona era and find ourselves at the mercy of rapidly expanding, diversifying visual experiences. I believe this to be the perfect time for us to pause and rethink what it actually means to see in the here and now. And what better chance to do so than the small moments when we are gently caressed by an enveloping light, feeling our souls resonate?

Hitomi Uchikura
1956 Born in Kagoshima, Japan
1982 MFA, Tama Art University
2003-4 Resided in France granted by Japanese Government, Oversea Study Program for Artist
Artist-in-residence at Cité Internationale des Art, Paris, France
2011 Artist-in-residence at Arles sur Tech, Pyrénées-Orientales, France

■Solo exhibitions in recent years
2018 Lumière, Semjon Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
2015 光・彩 Lumière, Shun Art Gallery, Shanghai, China
2013 Hitomi Uchikura, Galerie DUTKO, Paris, France
2012 Lumière, Japanese-German Center Berlin, Germany

■Major group exhibitions in recent years
2022 Grasping at Clouds, Works from the Hara Museum and the Hara Rokuro Collections,
Hara Museum ARC, Gunma, Japan
2021 XxX 10 Year Semjon Contemporary, Semjon Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
2020 A Trio of Masters - Eitoku, Tan'yu and Okyo, Hara Museum ARC, Gunma, Japan
2018 France Japon, Galerie DUTKO, Paris, France
2017 Schatten und Licht, Wasser Gallery, Berlin, Germany

■Public collection
Kirishima Open-Air Museum(Kagoshima), Miyakonojo City Museum of art(Miyagi), Hara Museum ARC (Gunma), Wacoal Art Center(Tokyo)