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Kako Ueda Eros and Thanatos, 2008
Kako Ueda Totem, 2008
Kako Ueda Totem, 2008
Kako Ueda Oracle, 2008
Kako Ueda Contemplation, 2008
Kako Ueda Conversation, 2007
Kako Ueda Self Portrait (Octopus Head), 2007
Kako Ueda Dreaming of Foetus, 2007
Kako Ueda Installation view
Kako Ueda Installation view
Kako Ueda Installation view
Kako Ueda Show Announcement
Kako Ueda Show Announcement (continued)

Press Release

On September 4th, George Adams Gallery will open an exhibition of paper cut-outs by Japanese-born artist Kako Ueda. The exhibition, which features seven works created over the past three years, is Ueda's second with the gallery and the first comprehensive presentation of her work in New York.

While the present exhibition includes several small-scale works, two works, "Eros and Thanatos" and "Totem" both from 2008, are wall-sized pieces that include elements that are suspended, collaged, and entirely independent from the central form. Ueda continues to explore themes of life and death and the divide between nature and culture in her recent work, interweaving images of bodily forms with spiders, dragonflies, lizards and the like.  In the latest works however, she has also introduced the human figure along with a stronger narrative element. Drawn imagery, previously relegated to the back of the work as a guide to the cut-outs, now appears on the front and in color.

For example, the central cut-out image in "Contemplation" (2008) suggests internal organs of the human body, a lung and perhaps a heart. These silhouetted forms are enhanced with colored pencil and watercolor in some areas simultaneously introducing a landscape. At the bottom of the composition, a small figure of a man in 18th century attire, including a top hat, smokes a pipe that morphs into this broader imagery.

Ueda's works are initially hand-drawn and then hand-cut. In the small-scale cut-outs she uses a single sheet of paper.  In the large-scale ones, such as the 80 x 70 inch "Eros and Thanatos," she creates them in sections with independent, even dimensional elements. "Eros and Thanatos" includes butterflies and other insects incorporated within the central form of a skull face.  These same elements also appear separate, surrounding the composition, adding an element of animation to her imagery.

Ueda, who was born in Tokyo in 1966, received her MFA from Pratt in 1999. Between 2000 and 2006, Ueda participated in group exhibitions at Pierogi, Smack Mellon, Sikkema Jenkins & Co, and Artists Space. Following a 2006-07 residency at Smack Mellon, Ueda had her first show here in the gallery's Drawing Gallery and was selected for the Arkansas Art Center's 2007 Collectors Annual Exhibition.  This past summer she participated in "Paper City" at Mixed Greens and this fall will exhibit two works in "Drawn To Detail" at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA. The two largest pieces in the present show will travel to the Contemporary Art Museum (KIASMA), Helsinki, Finland in late October where they will be included in the exhibition "Drawn In the Clouds."

The exhibition will continue through October 18, 2008.


Totem, 2008
cut paper, string, collage
139 x 111 inches
KUs 15

Oracle, 2008
hand cut paper
36 x 36 inches
KUs 12

Contemplation, 2008
hand cut paper
47 x 31 inches
KUs 14

Self Portrait (Octopus Head), 2007
hand cut “washi” paper
23 x 32 inches
KUs  09

Dreaming of Foetus, 2007
hand cut “washi” paper
35 x 26 inches
KUs 15

Conversation, 2007
hand cut paper w/ acrylic
18.5 x 33 inches
KUs 13

Eros and Thanatos, 2007
cut black paper (site specific wall relief)
78 x 68 inches
KUs 11