“Listening to the sound of flowers blooming”

土を慕い、草花鳴らし光こぼるる Cherishing the soil, the light falls on rustling flowers 2016 pencil, Chinese ink, water color, lithograph ink, Japanese paper on canvas mounted on wood panel 90.0 × 90.0 cm ©︎ Yuko Someya

Yuko Someya’s work is created from coloring and layering Japanese paper, while making the most of its soft texture. By her original techniques of skillfully employing a wide range of mark-making – pencil lines, brushstrokes using watercolor or Chinese ink, and the lines of the paper fibers – her work embraces a sense of romanticism, airiness and clarity. Her work is further enhanced by a sense of slight uneasiness about the fragility of life, suggested by butterflies caught in a spider’s web or animals lying quietly in flowers of tender hue. Someya remarks as follows: “There was a moment when I realized that life was not so beautiful. I found lifelessness, emptiness, and things that had lost their freshness to be very beautiful. But I also feel that hair is more beautiful on bodies, and becomes suddenly raw when it falls out.” Beautiful flowers, butterflies, spiderwebs and birds reflect Someya’s almost nihilistic sensations and contradictions in her attitude towards life, inviting the viewer’s imagination.
This is Someya’s first solo exhibition in four years in Japan, and features around 10 works including those exhibited in the exhibition “All Living Things” at the Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum last year, as well as new works. The viewer is invited to encounter Someya’s world, and her continuous exploring of “the end of life”, to which all living things are destined.

Artist Profile

Yuko Someya

Yuko Someya was born in 1980 in Chiba. She completed her Master’s degree in printmaking at Tokyo University of Arts, the Department of Art, in 2006. She received awards for her work at Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Tokyo in 2004 and her works are now part of the museum collection. “I move my pencil as if I was spelling a word,” Someya says of her works, intricately drawing and coloring motifs such as flowers, birds, plants, and animals. The paintings often embrace generous blank spaces in which the motifs are given the sense of floating, releasing strong brightness as if to invite the viewers into the stories, and to continue them. Her specialized method using ink and distinctive transparency in color and texture created by layered washi paper are also attractive.