Keiji Ujiie, an international artist based in Bali since 2007, arrived in the Ubud community of Nyuh Kuning with the desire of initiating a new era of personal creativity. Born in Japan in 1951, the sculptor/landscape architect has an established body of work stretching over 25 year. With works that are typically large scale and monumental, Ujiie's artistry dominates sweeping landscapes, city courtyards and public parks in Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Lebanon and, more recently, Sanur, Bali.
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is Keiji's debut solo exhibition in Bali. Starting on July 11 and running through July 31, 2009, Hanna Artspace
in Ubud, Bali will present 22 sculptures produced over the past two years. In keeping with the name of the exhibition, "Continental Mother"
on display will be is the artist's interpretation of the Balinese landscape rendered in indigenous materials of Javanese Limestone, Marble and Granite.
At home, in his open terrace studio situated overlooking rice fields and the Pura Dalem Temple
, Keiji draws inspiration from the natural Balinese setting that surrounds his home. Constant trade winds blow through the adjoining fields. Clouds drift gracefully across his vista. Seasons are punctuated by cycles of growth and harvest; green alternating with open fields of standing water. Native birds feed surreptitiously on the rice crop while ducks tend the rice fields in search of insects. Here, the senses are continuously stimulated. Here, also, the essence of rural Bali and its cycles of life, impart a magical healing quality. "I love to absorb this enduring peace," says Keiji, "it is an essential part of my creative process." In silent contemplation he consumes this nurturing energy, translating it over time into artistic expression. "Continental Mother"
first evolved only as a loosely formed mental concept. Keiji's artistic method employs no models, studies or sketches, preferring a "direct carving" technique. He ventures into hard substances, working to expose the spirit of the stone hidden within. Working from the inside-out, he exposes the new life revealed by his finished compositions. Each individual stone has its own unique feeling retained within its grains and structure. Intuitively, Keiji responds to the feelings he receives; through physical intent, form achieves coherence.
Five individual "Continental Mother"
pieces, each 600mm x 400mm in size, form the centerpieces of the current exhibition. His use of Javanese limestone reveals spatial geometries. Arched legs spread powerfully, mimicking some sort of earthly 'rainbow'. Beautifully proportioned torsos support full, bulbous breasts that emerge like mountains touching a larger cosmos. Protruding nipples point skyward, like eyeballs searching the heavens. The off-white limestone's grain is hand-finished and smooth; unpolished, almost glowing, like tender skin, radiating a virgin-like quality.
Geometry is the universal language of mathematics reflecting the axiom that in nature all geometric constructions conduct and transmit energy. The bulk of these voluptuous shapes resonate strength and power. His creations manifest into the figurative form. "Rarely, if ever, do I explore the human form! This is a direct influence of working in Bali. Here, there is a different spiritual energy. I never get this image in Japan," confessed Keiji.
Included also in the Bali exhibition are 17 trophy pieces, 400mm x 200mm in size, ranging from abstract to figurative forms.
Keiji likes to travels the world visiting location that mirror his spirituality. His recent work reflects the essence of Bali with works akin to meditation. It is Keiji's intent that a spiritual energy radiates from within his creations. Continental Mother
An Exhibition of Sculptures by Keiji Ujiie
Jalan. Raya Pengosekan – Ubud
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