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"You’re everything"

oil on canvas


My painting inspiration comes from video clips of theatre and musicals on YouTube. My practice involves building up layers of pigment to form the fragile existence of the human being.

I am committed to depicting the humanity that can easily disappear.

I often paint backup dancers dancing behind a subject.

They’re dancing in unison, in identical, shiny yellow outfits. You can’t tell how many people are dancing; their names escape the moment, symbolising beauty in its purest form. I intend to capture those intangible figures on a display. 

I am a Japanese woman who grew up in Japan. Japan is a collectivist society. You have to get rid of your ego and be a team player; that's a virtue in Japan. While I'm behaving like a model Japanese woman, I can't stop looking at Western culture, such as theatre, musicals, and politics. The idea of the West seems like a dreamland to me. People sing about feminism and equality on stage. Just as everyone paints their favourite landscapes, I'm painting my dreamland, a Western culture that I observe every day. My painting is personal. I paint my dream landscape in silence as an escape, so in parallel, I can blend in with the society that is Japan.  



Eri Ueno is a contemporary painter. Her work focuses on exploring the boundaries of humanity that can easily disappear. She holds a BA from Nagoya University of Arts. In 2019, at the beginning of her artistic career, she practiced installation, film, photography, and interviewing people who have been marginalised in Japan, such as immigrants. She was awarded a 2019 Nakagawa Canal Artist Fellowship. As the project grew, she felt an immense sense of guilt for exploiting the stories of marginalised people in the name of art. These experiences have been key for her in approaching other artistic mediums, mainly oil painting.
Ueno's paintings have been regularly exhibited in Tokyo and Nagoya.


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