UENO NORIO
Origination D 1962
Along the outside of sea 1980
The Sea and Planets--Yellow 1994
Notes in the water 2004
Violet of the moon 2007
Iromandara 2008
A red tree which stands on the outskirts of a barren land 2008

Norio Ueno was born in November 1932 in the town of Teshio, Hokkaido. After moving to the city of Sapporo in 1937, he spent his boyhood in the Yamahana district of that city. In 1952, he left Sapporo for Tokyo, aspiring to be an artist. In autumn of the same year, at the age of 19, he exhibited his work for the first time at the Jiyu Art Exhibition.

In 1962, he was awarded the grand prize at the 5th Contemporary Art Exhibition of Japan, which was held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum under the auspices of the Mainichi Newspaper Co., Ltd. The worlds he has created since then in his paintings are unique in their symbolic forms and in the signs and letters that float in fresh blue spaces of various hues. They convey his distinctive poetic sentiments.

Starting with his Seeds and Planets series of paintings in 1995, which were followed by A Square Garden and Fruits and Stars in Midair, it is obvious that Ueno's worlds have become increasingly profound. At the same time, his works give us a sense of liberation, the feeling of freedom that recalls the wind blowing across limitless expanses. The Seeds and Planets series was particularly important in defining Ueno's distinctive style and forming the basis of his creation.

When one's eye moves about the canvas, much is revealed. Things are born. They gather and disperse. Forms and lines are drawn in uncertain directions. Poetry is written in an internal cosmos. Mathematical formulae appear. Graffiti-like letters are lifted as if from a diary. We see someone's memories. We encounter musical scores.
It may be that he is subconsciously internalizing the incalculably complex rhythms that fill the natural world, or the pulse of life and death.

His show “Ueno Norio Exhibition I: Toki-no-Utsuroi (Temporal Transition),” held in July 2005 at the Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art (Kahitsukan), proved the world of this artist to be more nuanced and invested with greater profoundness than the world he had shown before. On the canvas, we perceive a rush of joy and grief, find hopes and anxieties, and read a testament to a life lived to the fullest.

In November and December 2008, the show “Ueno Norio Exhibition II: Iro-wa-Nioedo (Though flowers are blooming…)” was held at the same museum in Kyoto. In the new Color Mandala paintings, a series that was exhibited for the first time, the primary colors of red, yellow, green and blue, as well as black and white, audaciously replace the bluish and blue-grayish tones that Ueno had used for so long. This refreshing change shows the vibrant, impressive development of the artist's world.

In the catalog for the Color Mandala series, Ueno says, “My work is not done.” After succeeding in internalizing primary colors in his world, colors the artist had never used, he became motivated to integrate them with the established “blue world of Ueno.”
At his atelier amidst the natural splendor of the Nasu Highlands in Tochigi Prefecture, Ueno follows his heart in creating oil paintings, watercolors, objets d’art, and print and photographic art.