Galerie &co119 is proud to exhibit works from one of the premier masters of Japanese photography, Shoji Ueda (1913-2000).

Considering himself as a mere, but passionate, amateur – one who used to say, “I only think about photography, even when I sleep and as soon as I wake up” – Ueda spent his life in the region where he was born, in the Tottori Prefecture, surrounded by the sand dunes that inspired his iconic series. These sand dunes have come to symbolize the work of this master of composition.

His photographic style, absolutely recognizable, perfectly and freely composed, nearing surrealism, contrasted greatly from the realist and documentary work of his Japanese peers that were in fashion at that time. A word was even coined to refer to his particular photographic style: Ueda-cho (the “Ueda style”). It is indeed composition, and creation of a visual world in itself, that Shoji Ueda’s images are revealing. The photographer – creating a world which is simultaneously graphic, poetic, surrealist, and imaginative – plays with his models, the objects he is shooting, his wife and his children alike, with humor and gentleness, as if these subjects were gurines a kid would play with. Inventing a world with no time constraints, made of dunes, clouds-like cotton balls and tall grass hiding masked creatures, this master of photography o ers all that cross his path and pose in front of his camera a place in his world: the world of Shoji Ueda. We would like to deeply thank Yutaka Masutani, Shoji Ueda’s grandson, for making this exhibition possible. Through his generosity, we are able to show a part of Ueda’s fascinating world through images, some iconic, some less known, from dfferent periods and series.