Lives and works in Toronto, Canada
Nami Ueno was born in Kyoto, Japan. At 15, she began formal art lessons with a local artist, and four years later entered the Kyoto University of Art and Design. Using delicate techniques and careful detail, Nami spends a long time with each painting, but approaches every work with childlike wonder. Her wide-ranging work bears many influences and references – the strange creatures creeping through 16th-century maps, the fantasies hidden in Northern European altarpieces, the symmetry and color symbolism of religious art. Historically, such visions in art gave form to inner personal and collective yearnings or anxieties. Beyond their decorative beauty, the styles and sensibilities in Nami’s art are unified by an inner exploration in which her fairy tale or narrative-themed works and her more overtly spiritual art each reflect this journey in different ways. Like dreams, these artworks look for a balance between fear and longing away from the materialist status culture of today, a truce between the often dueling aspects of our own selves.