When she was a child, Yuko Uchida had discordant feelings about the people around her. To escape her reality, she dreamed of an alternate universe full of creatures which she spoke to and played alongside. These experiences and emotions from childhood are the root of her identity. She uses fabric and wire in her work to create sculptures, tapestries and installations. The defining feature of her work and identity can be found in her black and white wearable sculptures. Uchida’s shadow installation is created with wire, displaying an environment reminiscent of her youth, exploring the playgrounds of Japan during the night, watching the dark black shapes lingering behind the white lights. Mixed media and fabric sculptures displayed in this exhibit are inspired by her feelings and experiences since moving to New York. The purpose of The Playground is to create a dialogue between her shadow installation, creatures and herself.
About the Artist
Yuko Uchida was born in Japan and currently lives and works in NY. Uchida studied Fashion Design at Nagoya College of Fashion. During this time, she assisted several fashion photographers, which inspired her to switch her creative focus towards fine arts.
In 2007, Uchida moved to New York City and began her studies in printmaking, mixed-media and sculpture at National Academy School of Fine Arts. Her experience in Fashion Design served her well and continues to inform her art as she repeatedly uses fabric, line and form in her constructions. In 2009, Uchida was awarded the prestigious David McFadden award from the ISE Cultural Foundation. In 2013, her work was selected in the 6th showcase competition in ArtSlant. In 2017, she performed with her collaborators in her works at Judson Memorial Church, National Academy Museum, Ideal Glass Studio and Fort Tilden. She has been participating in group exhibitions in New York City and Tokyo and has been published in publications and newspapers stateside and abroad including Hyperallergic, Art Observed, Arts Life and Arti.NYC. As of August 2018, Yuko’s artwork is featured in UNIQLO’s Autumn/Winter 2018 advertisements, in stores and on websites worldwide.
“I am a woman full of conflicted emotions many of them stemming from childhood experiences that still resonate with me today. As a young girl, I experienced love and violence from my parents, as well as bullying from my classmates in school. It was confusing to be surrounded by so many diverse and sometimes conflicting emotions such as suspicion, loneliness, shame, anger, and joy. I was keenly aware that I had to suppress myself. All these experiences have shaped my identity as the woman that I am today. In my work, I give voice to these complex and unspoken feelings, bearing witness to the particularities of my experience and giving free expression to my personal truth.
The themes that repeat themselves in my work have to do with fragmentation, brokenness, entrapment, and self-realization. I work in varied mediums including performance and stop-motion video. The finished product sometimes results in flat mixed media pieces, and other times in installations or sculptures made from unconventional materials. Although I am working with complex themes, there is often an element of playfulness and humor in my work.” – Yuko Uchida