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Youichi UMETSU: Gold Dessin
Written by In the document   
Published: July 07 2009

"Betrayer" (2008); h.24.1 × w.19.2 cm, gold brush on board, courtesy of ARATANIURANO copy right(c) Youichi UMETSU

”Japanese plane" (2008); h.22.1 x w.22.1 cm, gold brush on board, courtesy of ARATANIURANO copy right(c) Youichi UMETSU

Umetsu Youichi was born in Yamagata prefecture in 1982. As a promising young artist, Umetsu won Second Prize at the "9th Annual Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art" exhibition in 2006 after graduating from the Department of Fine Arts at Tokyo Zokei University, and recently he was selected for the "Vision of Contemporary Arts (VOCA) 2009" exhibition. Umetsu’s works primarily fall into one of three main categories: oil painting, metalpoint (sketches drawn with sharpened metal), and pen drawings. These methods are unified through his unique style of using delicate, pointillistic strokes. It was recently discovered that he had been using this style since the 2nd grade; he describes this signature characteristic as a "habit of hand." Last year, his first solo exhibition at ARATANIURANO centered around a minutely detailed self-portrait in oil paint. A metalpoint portrait of his great-uncle who died in battle, drawings, and everyday objects and private memorabilia were also exhibited. These works explored the boundaries between Umetsu as an artist and as an individual, displaying overlapping elements between the two. The exhibition’s fresh and youthful perspective generated considerable interest, and further established Umetsu’s reputation as an artist of note. The upcoming exhibition "Gold Dessin," will focus specifically on drawings created using gold metalpoint. Umetsu states that he would like to recapture drawing and think of it not merely as a sketch for a painting, but to delve into “drawing” with a broader sense of meaning through this exhibition. A variety of motifs are used for this exhibition including: airplanes, girls, Malevich’s black square drawings, women’s magazines, shadows of people, flowers, and hands. These were extracted from photographs, Internet graphics, sketches, and such mediums that captured the artist’s interest, using an association game of sorts. He made a point of creating the drawings, not in a studio, but under natural lighting conditions, such as in the outdoors or the window seats of family restaurants. The pictures are drawn so precisely that they look as if they are copper-plate engravings or photographs at first glance. As the viewer draws closer, individual black particles seem to wriggle about as the metallic reflection of the surface emits a mysterious sheen. See how the various images, which can be said to be fragments of worlds captured by the artist, connect and melt together; witness what will emerge. * The text provided by ARATANIURANO.

Last Updated on July 11 2009

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