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A heart journey begins in rich colors


Kanagawa Gallery Walk
File.4 Masayasu Uchida Memorial Art Gallery
( Shino Yamamoto / Galerie Watts)

When I visited a cafe last year, I was drawn to the postcards on the counter.
It's a modern landscape painting with bright colors. Although the depiction is simple, I could feel the light, smell the soil and grass, and hear the voices of the people, birds, and insects that weren't drawn.
You will be drawn into the world of pictures that are only postcard size! I was so impressed that I bought several cards and went home.
Normally, I would look up the artist's name there, but it was more important to me to immerse myself in the comfort of the work rather than who drew it, so I just leaned the card against the shelf.

Now, nearly a year later, when I was surfing the net, I happened to come across a picture.

"Huh? There is something that leads to the card I have ..."

And I knew for the first time that it was a painting by Mr. Masayasu Uchida. Mr. Uchida is 96 years old!

I also found out that he has an art gallery in Kamakura, so I definitely have to go there! And good hastened.

The nearest station to the gallery is Enoden Hase Station. If you go to Kamakura or Shonan, it's almost always by car, so it was actually my first time riding the Enoden.
While experiencing the loose charm of a local line with a history of over 100 years, I was thrilled and a little nervous thinking about the gallery I was visiting.
After all, it is also an atelier, so the teacher might see you.

A modern white building within a 1-minute walk from the station. It is called "Kamakura Heart Gallery Hall". The 2nd building in that corner is now the Masayasu Uchida Memorial Art Gallery.
As soon as you step inside, you will be impressed by the bright colors. Looking at them one by one, I could see the golden rice ears and the impressive red manjushage, which reminded me of autumn.
One of the reasons I'm fascinated by this is the bold distribution of composition, with more than half of the screen being the sky and rice fields. Very modern.

I didn't notice Mr. Uchida's work on postcards, but it's actually a "harie".
The nuances of depth and texture due to overlapping colors combine with the painting, and the five senses on the viewer's side begin to work smoothly, and they are wrapped in a feeling that is closer to the physical experience.

The gallery is managed by Mr. and Mrs. Hikaru, who are the sons of Mr. Uchida. Unfortunately the teacher is absent.

Hari-e is made by cutting paper by hand and pasting it with glue instead of using scissors because the soft lines create the expression. We have more than 100 types of Western paper with different colors and thicknesses. It seems that the reason why he sticks to Western paper is the vividness of the colors. The texture of washi paper is nice, but the fuzzy nuances such as pale colors and fuzziness when torn are not what he is looking for. And he established the world of "Hari-e" which is neither Chigiri-e nor paper-cutting.
The Western paper, which was crumpled and wrinkled before pasting, partially absorbed the ink, creating shadows and the texture of the rocks. Also, for nuances that are not found on the paper at hand, he adds expressions with a brush before pasting.

Uchida's main occupation was a graphic designer. When I was in my thirties, I received a request from the city of Yokohama, where I live, to teach art to the general public at an adult school (now a culture school). With no budget in mind, he cut newspapers to show the shape, and then he himself decided to pursue the path of expressing Japan's original scenery with 'collage painting'. In fact, the instant miso soup “Asage” and “Yuge” that we are familiar with are his masterpieces. Oh, to have been touching the teacher's painting since I was little!

If you hear such a story, what! The teacher had just woken up from a nap and was downstairs to do some work!!

After saying "Welcome," he said, "There are autumn leaves in Japan and overseas, and everyone is moved by their beauty. However, one leaf falls down. It is the Japanese people who give birth to words and sounds." It's a delicate feeling.
The earth is just one piece of space debris, and humans are just one of its microbes. What does that person feel in Mother Nature? I have been painting various landscapes for many years, but by depicting those emotions, I continue to convey to children and future generations a sensibility that should not be forgotten.”

The teacher is strong and keeps the words going.

“For example, when a large stage filled with tens of thousands of people suddenly becomes pitch black, and one light is finally turned on, everyone cries. Why is that? What is there? It's a feeling you can feel."

Then he looked me in the eye and said, "You and I will do our best." After saying that, the teacher entered the atelier.

It's not as simple as a beautiful color or a beautiful landscape.
The sensibility that I have captured with my own experience. Even though I usually forget, I access the memory in an instant. It was at that moment that I realized why I was drawn to the teacher's postcard.
His paintings, which are both delicate and dynamic, truly keep the viewers from getting bored.
What is common to the 900 works is the place where the heart is. Kindness overflowed from the teacher's picture.
Here, we cherish the four seasons and change the exhibits about once every two months.

“Even in autumn, there are differences between early autumn and late autumn. There are not just four seasons,” says Hikaru.

It is a gallery that you will want to visit again and again to reconfirm your own axis because you tend to be pressed for time every day.

《Gallery information》
Masayasu Uchida Memorial Art Gallery

2-12-17 Hase, Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
TEL: 0467-23-5105

*Opening hours: March-October = 10:00-17:00 / November-February = 10:00-16:00
*Closed: Mondays and the 3rd Tuesday of the month (If the closed day falls on a national holiday, the museum will be open and closed the following day.)

▶︎Get off at Enoshima Electric Railway "Hase Station". 1 minute walk


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