Art/PhotographyEnjoy casuallyartfree entrancetargetRecommended for a date

A journey of the heart begins in rich colors


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

When I visited a cafe last year, I was drawn to the postcards lined up on the counter.
It is a modern landscape painting with bright colors. Although the depiction is simple, I felt like I could feel the light, smell the soil and grass, and hear the voices of people, birds, and insects that were not depicted, and I was instantly enveloped in the atmosphere of the landscape.
I can't believe I was drawn into the world of a postcard-sized picture! I was so impressed that I bought several different cards and went home.
Normally, I would look up the artist's name there, but at that moment, it was more important for me to soak in the comfort of the painting than who had painted it, so I just left the card upright on the shelf.

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

"Huh? There's something similar to the card I have..."

It was then that I learned for the first time that it was a painting by 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! Said Zen, hurry up.

The nearest station to the gallery is Enoden's "Hase" station. Most of my trips to Kamakura and Shonan are by car, so this was actually my first experience riding the Enoden.
While experiencing the laid-back charm of the local train, which has a history of over 100 years, I was excited and a little nervous as I thought about the gallery I was going to visit.
Because it doubles as an atelier, so you might get to meet the teacher.

A modern white building less than a minute walk from the station. It is called "Kamakura Kokoro no Gallery Hall." The No. 2 building in the corner is now the ``Masayasu Uchida Memorial Art Gallery.''
As soon as you step inside, you are immediately struck by the bright colors. As I looked at each of them one by one, I saw the golden ears of rice and the impressive red manjusha flowers, all of which reminded me of the current autumn season.
One of the reasons I'm drawn to it is the bold composition, with more than half of the screen being sky or rice fields. It's very modern.

I didn't notice Mr. Uchida's work on the postcard, but it's actually a "stick picture".
The depth and texture nuances created by the overlapping colors, combined with the painting, stimulate the viewer's five senses and envelop him in a sensation closer to that of a physical experience.

The gallery is managed by Mr. and Mrs. Hikaru, Mr. Uchida's sons, and they gave us detailed explanations. Unfortunately, the teacher is not available.

Hari-e uses soft lines to create expressions, so instead of using scissors, the paper is cut by hand and pasted with glue. We have over 100 types of Western paper in different colors and thicknesses. It seems that what is important about western paper is the vividness of the colors. The texture of washi paper has a nice texture, but the teacher is adamant that the pale color and fuzzy nuances, such as the fuzz when torn, are not the expression he is looking for. And he established the world of ``hari-e'' rather than chigiri-e or paper-cutting.
The paper, which is rubbed and wrinkled before pasting, partially absorbs the ink, creating shadows and bringing out the texture of the rocks. Also, if there are any nuances that are not present in the Western paper at hand, she sometimes uses a brush to add expressions before pasting.

Mr. Uchida's main job was as a graphic designer. When I was in my 30s, I was asked by the city of Yokohama where I lived to teach art to the general public at an adult school (now known as Culture School). Although he had no budget, he started cutting newspapers to show the shapes, and from there he went on to explore how to express Japan's original landscapes with ``paper cutters.'' In fact, the instant miso soups ``Asage'' and ``Yuuge'' that we are all familiar with are his masterpieces. Ah, I can't believe I've been exposed to your teacher's drawings since I was little!

When I heard such a story, I was surprised! The teacher had just woken up from a nap and came downstairs to work! A modern, stylish figure.

After saying, ``Welcome,'' she said, ``There are autumn leaves both in Japan and overseas, and everyone is moved by the beauty.However, when a single leaf falls, words and sounds are born from that. It's a delicate sensibility.
The earth is just one piece of scum in the universe, and humans are just one of its microorganisms. What do humans feel in Mother Nature? I have been painting various landscapes for many years, but by depicting their emotions, I continue to convey to my children and the generations to come a sensibility that should never be forgotten.''

The teacher continues speaking powerfully.

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

Then he looked at me and said, ``Let's do our best, you and I.'' After saying that, the teacher went into the atelier.

It's not just simple things like beautiful colors or beautiful scenery; it touches the deepest parts of our roots and awakens important feelings.
A sensibility that I have captured through some kind of experience. Even though I usually forget, I access those memories in an instant. That was the moment I realized why I was drawn to my teacher's postcards.
His delicate and dynamic paintings truly keep the viewer entertained for a long time.
What these 900 pieces of work have in common is a place where the heart is. The teacher's drawings overflowed with kindness.
Here, we value 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 simply four seasons,'' says Hikaru.

It's a gallery that you'll want to visit over and over again to reaffirm your focus because you're often pressed for time.

《Gallery information》
Masayasu Uchida Memorial Art Gallery

2-12-17 Hasaya, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

*Opening hours: March to October = 10:00 to 17:00 / November to February = 10:00 to 16:00
*Closed days: Mondays and third Tuesdays of the month (however, if the closed day is a public holiday, the museum will be open and closed the next day)

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


Related articles