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.
Yuko Someya was born in 1980 in Chiba. She graduated from the Department of Printmaking at Tokyo University of Arts. She was awarded the Collection and the Audience Awards at the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, and her work was included in the museum’s public collection. She has had solo exhibitions at venues including Richard Heller Gallery (the United States), and this is her forth exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery. Her major group exhibitions include “VOCA” (The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, 2014) and “All Living Things” (Vangi Sculpture Garden Museum, Shizuoka, 2016).