[Interview]  Kasumi Ueba : ZEPHYR - a gentle wind from west

  • [Interview]  Kasumi Ueba : ZEPHYR - a gentle wind from west

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[Interview] Kasumi Ueba : ZEPHYR - a gentle wind from west


Current exhibition of Kasumi Ueba attracts passers-by through its liveliness. The artist has slightly changed her style since her participation in the group show at Art front Gallery in 2019 entitled "Spring Blossoms: Pop and Modern", answering questions to reveal her artistic commitment now.

"Chimera Bowl" 2020 / ceramic / 110x170x135mm (detail)

Q: Your works have been characterized in “Chimera series” with original body and use of brilliant colors applied on it. What are the inspiring sources of these images?

I do not sketch or make an esquisse for the creation of works. Rather, I put up something in my head manipulating clay with my hands. My hands precede my head, leading my own images to initial target.
I felt something in common with “chimera” in Greek mythology, and that was my starting point of producing these hybrid imaginary animals. “chimera evolution” is a recent version which is more personalized in its chimera series. Human bodies, it looks to me, may be closer to story with backgrounds behind.

Q: We were impressed by your characteristic chimera series of dog and elephants, while this time we feel some kind of exoticism from your works.

Actually, I made works this time, picking up some elements from three routes of Silk Road, mixing up the images issued from these different areas.

"Chimera Evolution" 2021 / ceramic / 430x480x280mm

“Chimera evolution (flying goddess” has been inspired by the mural painting of Mogao Cave in Dunhuang.
Motif applied to this ceramic work includes lines related to clouds, wind or plumage. Also, I focused on the flowers of pear tree, beautiful flower often found in this area of Dunhuang.
This work is based on white, and colors are limited so that the body shape and curving attract more attention of the viewers than the colors.


"Chimera" 2020 / ceramic / 420x480x250mm

Q: Surely we are nowadays longing for the journey, or for other countries all the more because COVID waves prevent our trip to anywhere.

This work “AtoZ” in its meaning, represent Chinese lion but with the Islamic blue in color.
These symmetrical form goes back to my early works.


"morph" 2018 / ceramic / 500x640x440mm

Q: You also create the series called “morph”. Could you tell me about it?

Morph comes from metamorphosis, which serves as the basic concept of this series. Also, I would like to try with something viewed with different interpretation. Therefore, I make it difficult on purpose to decipher which animals are hidden at the background.“Morph (Octopus)”, for example, is the octopus and at the same time clouds. This is from Sea route of Silk road, and is not easy for identification.


"morph" 2020 / ceramic / 440x300x240mm

Morph (Peacock) is associated to the image of decorative lampshade of Turkish culture, which is also the standing appearance of peacock. The feather of peacock are applied with paints.


"morph" 2021 / ceramic / 500x280x500mm

The camel work is apparently that of the caravan. The Persian floral motif is painted in blue, accompanied with the gold belt to present the exotic atmosphere.


"Chimera (bird)" 2021 / ceramic / 240x240x180mm

“Chimera (bird)” is also made of cobalt and gold belt in the same style.

"Zephyros" 2020 / ceramic / 450x370x160mm

“Zephyros” is a wind god in Greek mythology, related to ZZ. The motif fit itself well to the context of Silk Road. The standing figure is inspired with that of temples in China.



"Mitra" 2021 / ceramic / 490x230x170mmm

Mitra, god of Sun, is said to have travelled along the Silk road, transforming itself into Maitreya. Inspired with this eastward travel, I made this work.

The title Zephyr means the gentle wind from the west. I was planning to make a trip to the West, which was not realized. Still, I enjoy making these works while feeling the wind from the west behind.

This exhibit features various styles of Ueba in coloring as well as shaping. We hope that you will enjoy the respective charm of works travelling around one from another.

Kasumi Ueba : ZEPHYR - a gentle wind from west
2021. Jan. 13 (Wed.) – 31 (Sun.)