Interview with Fuco Ueda at The Path —— development blog

Interview with Fuco Ueda

The design of the characters in The Path was inspired by the work of several contemporary artists and designers. In this series of interviews, we let the Red Girls themselves ask questions to the artist about their work.

Fuco Ueda

FUCO UEDA 上田風子 makes picture of girls. Not innocent girls or defenceless girls or even seductive girls. Fuco Ueda paints guilty girls, aggressive girls, seduced girls. There’s certainly an element of sweetness in her work. To the point where the honey literally drips form the flowers. But in her pictures sweetness becomes strength. Her girls don’t seem to need anybody else. They are each other’s friends. And they do whatever they please. In the process they may arouse us and confuse us. But in the end, the only pleasure they care about is their own. And they leave us, the viewer, to care about their pain.
This interview was conducted in April 2009, thanks to the kind offer of Ellie Nagata to translate the questions and the answers.

image by Fuco Ueda
Secret Flower Garden 1 by Fuco Ueda

RobinROBIN: Are the girls in your pictures good girls or naughty girls?

They’re both good and naughty.

RoseROSE: Why do animals and plants touch people so much in your work?

It’s a symbol of their love for one another. The girls, the cats, the moray eels, the chysanthemums, the chairs, the cake–they’re all very good friends.

GingerGINGER: Your characters look alike. Are they sisters?

The girls do not exist as specific individuals. They may wake up one morning as deer, or turn into birds and fly away after having lunch.

RubyRUBY: There’s often a kind of party going on in your pictures. Do you like parties? Do you have many friends? Or do you like being alone?

The girls can adapt to any treatment or circumstance in a snap. They don’t feel lonely when they’re alone, but they also enjoy being with a large group of friends.
少女達はどんな待遇・境遇にもたちどころに順応してしまうのです。 一人でいてもさみしくはありませんし、大勢でいる楽しさも十分知っています。

CarmenCARMEN: With the flowers and the honey, the food and the short skirts, your work feels very sensual. Is it about sex? And if so, how come you never draw a nude figure?

I’m aware of the possibility of making a connection between the image of the girls and that of sex. However, they don’t seem to be interested in sex as an everyday physiological activity. I don’t find nudes erotic, but shrugged shoulders and legs extending from skirts and the like do have a special place in my mind.

ScarletSCARLET: Where do you prefer to see your work? On the internet, in a
book, in a gallery or in someone’s living room?

My works can be seen in their best condition inside my head. But then I would be the only one who can see them, so I started making pictures, which brings us where we are today. I prefer to show the original works where possible (because the true color is always lost in print or on the web).

ありがとうございます Thank you, Fuco. We wish you -and your girls- the best of luck.

Readers who want more, should visit Fuco Ueda’s rich website. And become her fan of Facebook!

Read our other Interviews in this series.