Exploring the magic of Yuji Ueda: Ceramics that excite

Art in Transformation: Yuji Ueda

In the heart of Shigaraki, a Japanese region revered for its rich history in ceramics and tea, Yuji Ueda was born in 1975, the descendant of a distinguished family of tea farmers. From his childhood, Ueda was surrounded by the legacy of ceramics, inheriting not only a love of tradition but also a deep connection to the land that nurtures his art.

His journey into the world of ceramics began under the tutelage of acclaimed ceramicist Yasuhisa Kohyama, where Ueda honed his technique and began experimenting with glazing and firing methods. These explorations resulted in unique ceramic art forms, ranging from small paperweights to towering two-meter tall works, each reflecting the fusion of innovation with tradition.

Ueda’s creations are famous for their vibrant energy and dynamism, capturing the essence of the ceramic process. His vessels, with layers that peel and curl, reveal entirely different clay bodies within, as if they were in the same process of formation.

This unique approach not only highlights the beauty in imperfection, but also reflects Ueda’s deep respect for the history and technique of Shigaraki pottery, known since the 14th century for its popularity in tea ceremonies and for its beautiful imperfections.

Ueda is not only a master of ceramics from Japan; since 2019, he has expanded his artistic repertoire to painting, merging his knowledge of ceramics with canvas to explore new artistic frontiers. His work has been recognized and exhibited internationally, highlighted in solo and group exhibitions, such as those curated by Takashi Murakami at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles and New York in 2015.

Yuji Ueda’s art is not only an expression of technique and aesthetics; it is a continuous dialogue with the raw material, a tribute to tradition and a constant search for innovation. In each piece, Ueda invites viewers to contemplate the beauty in transformation, in the flow of time and in the imperfections that make each creation unique.

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