[Interview] Satoshi Uchiumi : squid

  • [Interview] Satoshi Uchiumi : squid

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[Interview] Satoshi Uchiumi : squid


We present interview with Satoshi Uchiumi about his current exhibit "squid" at Art Front Gallery.

First, I conceived the large installation considering the moving line toward the gallery space.
It is characteristic of this gallery to have its show window in distance with the exhibited works, since the access to the space is somewhat in detour. “First contact” with art, street view through the window, should be something out into the foreground. In my last exhibit here, I created the works in shape of stars whose pointed corners seemingly coming out. This time, I tried the same sensation with built wall installed diagonally.

Art Front Gallery has an exceptional architecture, where “first contact” occur twice for the viewers. Usually, audience will approach the artworks keeping his first contact. However, in this case, viewers are impressed with their first contact, then through the real entrance, they will see again the same work, experiencing the first contact twice which is a rare case. That is why I made the wall so that they can experience the “two different contacts”.


I developed the concept of this blue painting since last January and have continued till this November. Physiologically these paintings on the front side as well as reverse side are different: the outsider piece is parcellated vertically into nine panels while the insider one is horizontally into smaller pieces. My hypothesis is that I can create a panel where the viewer appreciates the same pieces although they are seemingly different in physiological level.

内海聖史_2020-25 squid_2020_キャンバスに油彩、パネル_4600x7200x46_01.jpg

artwork1 "2020-25 squid" 4600x7200x46mm

To supply side evidence, this octagonal piece is easy to understand my concept of completion.
Apparently, the missing pieces are there and are in combination with each other. This piece in diagonal is in the same example, with its pink part lacking.


artwork2 "2020-24" 1300x1685x43mm


artwork3 "2020-22 squid ring" 1810x1810x33mm

It is recommended if you can elaborate and develop the image in your head seeing the two pieces in time lag. When you appreciate a scroll painting of 10 meters long, you will unroll the pieces to see the entire images. Each viewer appreciates the different part of this long piece, editing the different image to complete.

This pole-type painting is another example of my concept of completion. The entire image cannot viewed at once in single moment: rather, you can only complete the image once you are in the backside of the column.

"2020-23" oil on canvas, panels 750x1775x33mm

I always work with paintings as material, however, painting is not by itself but is attached to something else. In my view, a painting is a material where act of seeing is attached to. For example, you just overlook stone or rocks at they are, not trying to see its reverse side. On the other hand, if there is a painting on reverse face, that will invite you to see the other side, so the painting is always connected with an act of seeing.

I wonder if the painting is also like a “sashimi” or raw fish of tuna. Tuna is a large fish and what we usually see is only parts of the entire fish. “Part” is the representation of tuna, which I find in fish shops. However, a painting should be something larger, or should be whole object just like squid or sea shell, integrating all the inner entails. I want my painting viewed as a whole, which is a complexity of all organic elements. These parts not sophisticated nor paved away are the essential part of the installation this time. Canvas are usually simplified, but this time in the mixture of both vertical and horizontal parcellation. That will help people, I hope, to think about what is a painting.

"2020-18, 19" oil on canvas, panels, frame 563x463x150mm

This piece is a dual painting with another surface as “invisible painting”. The same concept can be applied to this piece, where “invisible painting” does exist. Act of seeing a painting can be applied to not only one single piece but others, or we can insist that there are in fact paintings across the wall which is also invisible from here but exist there. We can think of a painting through these experiences and I have come up with the idea of this dual painting, although I myself find it a little wasteful.

"2020-58" oil on canvas, panel 805x710x50mm

Regarding the composition of the painting, I draw and paint in imagination of cosmos, monochrome or galaxy without featuring specific object. My interest lies in the relationship between the paints, crash between the painterly pigments and canvas, that of paintings or relationship between painting and the space around it, or how the viewers come into the space. For large paintings whose installation is already specified, I start painting the spot of “first contact” with the viewer, which will be followed by other area to develop its composition.

"2020-50" oil on canvas, panel 500x500x35mm

I have also problems of colors. For example, it took long time to choose this blue color, since blue can be different according to the makers. If I decide on cerulean blue at Holbein company, for example, then I try to mix up various paints with this cerulean blue to choose main color. Other colors will follow on its basis. Oil painting can cover other colors, which can be elements for complex layers of color.

It seems to me that human eyes have very high resolution, and I create artworks on the condition that we see the objects with high-resolution even scaring lens. For instance, blue with red underneath and blue with green underneath, are they viewed together or differently? I draw in thinking these optical problems, taking on purpose some devious path and not the minimum distance. That makes me and my painting complex enough so that it is already impossible to copy it even for myself!

lighting, our experience goes that we see the painting with artificial light in the evening, since we switch on the so-called lighting. In the day time, we make the natural light with the artificial fabricator to create “natural sunlight” but with the same artificial light. To prove our habit, we use colored light which is not the daylight, for our awareness of the light.

Satoshi Uchiumi : squid
2020. Nov. 27 (Fri.) – Dec. 27 (Sun.)