Keiji Uematsu

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Keiji Uematsu
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Born (1947-03-26) March 26, 1947 (age 77)
Kobe, Japan
EducationDepartment of Fine Arts, Kobe University
Known forSculpture, Contemporary Art
Notable work
Cutting Axis-Longitude-Latitude
Awardsthe 38th Teijiro Nakahara Award, Japan, 2013
ElectedJapan's representative artist of the 43rd Venice Biennale, 1988

Keiji Uematsu is a contemporary artist and sculptor.


Born in Kobe, Japan in 1947 as the son of an artisan of printing studio. In 1969, graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Education, Kobe University, and became a teacher of the arts and crafts at a public school. In the same year, he exhibited his work at the 1st Contemporary International Sculpture Exhibition and made his debut as an artist. The first solo exhibition was also held in Kyoto (Galerie 16).
In 1974, received the Kobe City Cultural Encouragement Award. In 1975, moved to West Germany. Based in Düsseldorf, he created works of art, has exhibited mainly in Europe and lesser in the United States. In 1986, a second base was established in Nishinomiya, Japan.[1][2][3]
In 1988, he was selected as a representative artist of the 43rd Venice Biennale along with Shigeo Toya and Katsura Funakoshi, and exhibited his work at the Japan Pavilion.[4][5]

In 1995, due to the Great Hanshin earthquake|Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the base of Nishinomiya was lost, so a new base was established in Minoo City, Osaka.

In 2013, he won the 38th Teijiro Nakahara Award for his work Cutting Axis-Longitude-Latitude.[6]

Method and Idea

His works are expressed in a variety of ways, including images (photographs, films, videos), performances (and their image recordings), prints, sculptures, and installations.

The production of the work is called "job (= project)", and the drawing that describes the idea of ​​the project is also presented as an independent work.

His work of sculpture or installation is a seemingly unstable structure that combines geometric volumes (cones, spirals) of stone, copper, wood, etc. "I want to express the existence of something invisible, like the universe, with a work in which the entire structure would collapse without one element."

As materials for sculptures and installation works, cloth, stone, glass, iron, stainless steel, copper, bronze, brass, lumber (mainly Douglas fir), and natural wood in their solid state are often used.

His style looks like an abstract, but what is expressed in his work is the embodiment of invisible forces such as gravity.[7][8][9]

First in 1971, then in 1972, or even in 1991, he wrote: "What I want to do is to make visible existence, visible connections and visible relations appear more clearly. And to cause non-visible existence, non-visible connections and non-visible relations to appear. And to cause visible existence, visible connections and visible relations not to appear.", "What shall I now do with the world (cosmos) which denies man understanding and where these three relations comprise antinomies? Shall I find a new meaning in the world? How to shape relations between people? These are questions which deeply concern me."

These words expresses the basic concept from the earliest days of his artist's activities.[10][11][12]


Solo Exhibitions (excluding Asia)[13][14]

  • 1974: Photographs and Films, Gallery Cheap Thrills, Helsinki, Finland
  • 1975: Galerie St. Petri, Lund, Sweden
  • 1976: Photographs and Films, Gallery Cheap Thrills, Helsinki, Finland
  • 1976: Moderna museet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1977: Hetzler+Keller gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
  • 1977: Situation Interval, New Reform, Aalst, Belgium
  • 1977: Ausschnitte 1, Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 1979: Installation, Vor Ort Arbeitsgalerie, Hamburg, Germany
  • 1979: Skulptur, Foto, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Germany

  • 1980: Cultuurhuis de Warande, Turnhout, Belgium
  • 1980: International cultural Center, Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1980: Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus+Kunstform, München, Germany
  • 1980: Installation Axis-Latitude-Longitude, P.S.1, Project Studios 1, New York, USA
  • 1981: Installations and Drawings, Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
  • 1981: Skupturen-Zeichnungen-Fotos, Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach, Germany
  • 1982: Cathédrale Saint-Trophime d'Arles, Arles, France
  • 1983: Installation, Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
  • 1984: Centrum BeeldendeKunst Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 1985: Project - Drawings and Installations, Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach, Germany
  • 1986: Installation, Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
  • 1989: Project, Kunstraum Neuss, Germany
  • 1989: Skulpturen und Zeichnungen, Galerie Kiki Maier-Hahn, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 1989: Skulpturen und Zeichnungen, Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach, Germany
  • 1989: GeleZaal, Gent, Belgium

  • 1990: Sculptures, Waβermann Galerie, München, Germany
  • 1991: Dortmunder Kunstverein, Germany
  • 1991: Waβermann Galerie, Köln, Germany
  • 1991: Baudoin Lebon in FIAC, Grand - Palais, Paris, France
  • 1992: Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
  • 1992: Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal, Germany
  • 1993: The Breathing Space, Waβermann Galerie, München, Germany
  • 1993: Skulpturen und Zeichnungen, Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach, Germany
  • 1994: It's Possible, Skulpturen und Zeichnungen, Stadtmuseum Siegburg, Germany[15]
  • 1995: Invisible Structure, Galerie Beatrice Wassermann, München, Germany
  • 1997: Behind the Perception, Edwin-Scharff-Haus, Neu-Ulm, Germany

  • 2001: Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
  • 2003: Axis-Latitude-Longitude, Waβermann Galerie, Munchen, Germany
  • 2004: Falling Water - Rising Water, Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
  • 2005: Axis-Latitude-Longitude, Kunstlerverein Marlkasten, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 2008: Yearning for What is Floating, Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
  • 2009: Yearning for What is Floating, Le Cafe Francais Art Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

  • 2011: Baudoin Lebon (with vladimir skoda), Paris, France
  • 2014: Frieze Masters: Spotlight, Regent's Park, London, UK
  • 2016: Invisible Force and Seeing, Jacobihaus, Kunstlerverein Malkasten, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 2016: Invisible Force, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK
  • 2016: Seeing/Measuring/..., Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
  • 2018: Invisible Force, Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach, Germany
  • 2019: Keiji Uematsu: Invisible Force, Simon Lee Gallery, New York, USA

Public Collections

  • Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Germany
  • Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
  • Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany
  • Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany
  • Museum Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany
  • Daimler Art Collection, Berlin, Germany
  • Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris, France[16]
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
  • Musée Reattu, Arles, France
  • Maison Elsa Triolet Aragon, St-Arnoult en Yvelines, France
  • LA CHAPELLE art contemporain, Clairefontaine, France
  • Collection Pinault, France
  • Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, The Netherlands
  • Bvlgari Collection, N.Y., USA / Rome, Italy
  • Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., USA
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA


  1. the Japanese text of interview with Keiji Uematsu, Oral History Archives of Japanese Art;
  2. 50 years of galerie 16: 1962-2012 pp.67-74.
  3. Fotografie in Düsseldorf: die Szene im Profil, 1991.
  4. XLIII Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte la Biennale di Venezia, Il Luogo Degli Artisti, Genaral Catalogue 1988.
  5. The Venice Biennale: 40 Years of Japanese Participation, 1995.
  6. Keiji Uematsu, Ways of Touching the Invisible - Intuition (catalog of the exhibition), 2021.
  7. Contemporary Japanese Sculpture, 1991, pp.82-84
  8. La Collection de la Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, 1998.
  9. Dictionnaire Bénézit, Dictionnaire des peintres,sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, vol. 13, 1999, p. 892.
  10. Von der Natur in der Kunst, Eine Ausstellung der Wiener Festwochen, 1990.
  11. 1969-1991 Keiji UEMATSU (Catalog raisonne), 1991, p.13.
  12. Keiji Uematsu, Ways of Touching the Invisible - Intuition (catalog of the exhibition), 2021.
  13. 1969-1991 Keiji UEMATSU (catalog raisonne), 1991.
  14. Keiji Uematsu, Ways of Touching the Invisible - Intuition (catalog of the exhibition), 2021.
  15. It’s Possible, Skulpturen und Zeichnungen, 1994.
  16. La Collection de la Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, 1998.

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