Gallery of Photographers.pdf


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GAL L E RY OF P H OTOGR A P H E R S

Shoji Ueda
Japanese 1913–2000

Seeming to inhabit a parallel universe, Ueda’s images are
full of emptiness and space—implied and manifest. Using
understatement and suggestion, his work is celebrated as
a response to photography that is truly Japanese.
Starting conventionally by attending
photography school, opening a studio,
and establishing a local photography
group, Ueda’s career was interrupted by
World War II, but resumed in 1946. His
best-known work centers on the extensive
sand dunes of Tottori in western Japan,
and shows Surrealist tendencies (he has
said that Renée Magritte was an
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
1951 Exhibits in Ginza, Tokyo
1960 Exhibits in Museum of Modern Art,
New York
1975 Teaches photography at Kyushu
Sangyo University
1983 Has retrospective at Tokyo State Gallery

Self-Portrait with Balloon
This early self-portrait from 1948 (right), is both
a tribute to Magritte and a question about the
nature of reality. Where exactly is the balloon?

No Title, Sand Dunes
Ueda’s image (above)is singular in its
exploration of the photographic possibilities
of these sand dunes in western Japan.
No Title, Sand Dunes
This innovative photograph (right) is a carefully
staged tableau. Ueda uses the photographic
illusion of space to create visual confusion.

inspiration) as well as a Zen-motivated
preoccupation with form. Ueda amply
demonstrates that the subtle variations
and linear forms of sand dunes make
superb backgrounds. Working in black
and white, Ueda left some 60,000
prints to the photography museum in
Kishimoto, which was founded in his
name in 1995.

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