Eiji Uematsu (b. 1949, Kobe, Japan) started his career in painting and lithography, he fell in love with clay and turned to ceramics early on. The artist never trained formally in a school, instead following his own experimentations and experiences, at the age of 26, the artist moved to Shigaraki, Shiga Prefecture, and worked at a ceramic factory as he was developing his practice. While there, he continued to make his own work and was captivated by the materiality of clay and its transformative properties.
Uematsu’s art possesses a uniquely organic quality that is deeply steeped in the landscape from which he obtains his raw materials, as well as the traditional methods for glazing and firing.The artist is deeply engaged with clay, fire and water, creating ceramic works in surprising, often primordial, forms and installations. Uematsu’s dynamic use of different clays found in his hometown of Iga or on travels are fired resulting in varied patinas and textures. Unlike many artists who alter the state of natural materials to achieve a clearly defined final product, Uematsu releases some of his artistic control over the materials and their outcomes and allows nature and the powers of fire, water, and air, to deeply inflect his artwork and artistic practice. Uematsu credits his inspiration for his work to his previous encounters—places he has visited, people he has met, and conversations he has shared with others.
The artist now lives and works in Mie Prefecture, Japan. As a highly regarded ceramicist in Japan, Uematsu is inspired by the qualities of clay, which guide him in his creations of his installations and sculptures. His work has been exhibited both in Japan and internationally.