June 17 - August 12
Heather Ujiie’s work integrates fiber, textiles, fashion, and visual art to create an otherworldly and dreamlike world that prompts us to ponder our shared visual histories and global mythologies.
For this exhibition, Ujiie interprets some of the stories from the Ferdowsi’s classic Iranian epic poem, Shahnameh, written over 1,000 years ago, part legend and part history, which contains magical birds and superhuman heroes in historic battles. Her large-scale textile work also integrates her own imaginary vision inspired by scientific botanical studies, diverse racial identities, and hybrid creatures.
Ujiie’s exhibition, Lost in Paradise, is both enigmatic and recognizable, and many of the textile installations evolved out of re-contextualizing historic visual research from Persian miniature paintings, as well Japanese Shunga from the Edo period, and Chinese erotic art from the Qing dynasty. Her larger than life, Tree of Life textile design, depicts embracing figures, giant flowers, and flora and fauna that evoke a sense of wonder and reflection on the commonalities of the human condition, where violence and love are reflected in a fractured poetic world.
One of the most dramatic digitally printed textile pieces is, War & Peace in the Time of Covid, an expansive panoramic landscape, where COVID flowers pervade as an invasive species, and conveys a pivotal time in our shared history, where a devastating epidemic has brought the world into crisis. For Ujiie, living through the pandemic has been a conduit into which all our concerns for finding spiritual health have risen to the surface: inequity, racism, diversity, gender identity, global warming, mass extinction of animal species, and political instability and strife.
Join us for Ujiie's artist talk on July 21st from 6-8:30pm, talk beginning at 7pm.
About the Artist: Heather Ujiie, currently lives and works in her studio in Manayunk, Philadelphia and is both an artist and designer. Ujiie grew up in NYC’s Greenwich Village, part of a family of artist educators, and believes her creativity comes from a lively bohemian childhood. Her installations have been exhibited at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Delaware Art Museum, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Racine Art Museum, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia International Airport, and the prestigious Wind Challenge Award Exhibition at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial Museum. As a designer, she has more than 15 years of experience creating costumes for theater and dance, and printed textiles for the high-end home furnishing and apparel markets.
Ujiie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Art from the State University of New York/New Paltz; an Art-Education K-12 degree from Brooklyn College; and an Associate’s Degree in Textile Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She is an Associate professor at Moore College of Art & Design.