the artist

Heather Ujiie

Heather Ujiie

Philadelphia, PA

Heather Ujiie

Heather Ujiie’s textile installation, Colossal Cosmos, involves a synthesis of several methods of artistry, including hand painting, scanning, digital manipulation, and large-format digital inkjet printing technology.  Ujiie is interested in creating large-scale allegorical narratives that utilize both analog and digital technology.  Much of her work evolves out of appropriation and transformation of historic and cultural iconography, where she strives to create narratives depicting the dualities of growth, beauty, loss and decay.  She has described her own work: “I hope my digitally printed installations ignite deep spiritual forays into the imagination, and generate personal reflection on what is hidden, whether it be our own personal demons, or our lust for life.”

Gallery Photo Credit: Hitoshi Ujiie

Fast Facts

Name: Heather Ujiie


Place of Birth: New York, New York

1999, Art Education Graduate Program/NYC and State Certification K-12 Art Ed. – Brooklyn College
1992, Associate Degree in Applied Science/Textile Surface Print Design – Fashion Institute of Technology
1981, B.S. in Visual Art – State University of New York (SUNY)    

Significant or special training:
Textile Print Design:
1993-2011 H.Ujiie Textile Design Studio   NYC/Bucks County, PA
Established as a textile studio specializing in designing new product development for printed fabrics in the home furnishing industry. Styles range from traditional to contemporary design. Clients include: Style Council / Peter Fasano / Travers (D&D Building), Stroheim & Romann, Inc. Bloomcraft/ Cyrus Clark Company / FSC Wallcoverings (division of F. Schumacher & Co.) P/Kaufman / Polo/Ralph Lauren /Schumacher / Springmaid /Sunbery Textiles / Waverly (division of F. Schumacher & Co.)/ Dan River

NYC and Philadelphia Costume Design:  Experimental theater, Modern Dance
2014-2015 Giant Neuron Costume: in collaboration with Benjamin Volta, The Russell Byers Charter  School/Moore College of Art & Design, and The Franklin Science Institute
1982-1988 The Julliard School of Performing Arts, Playwrights Horizons, Z'eva Cohen Dance Company, Kenneth King and Company, Bryan Hayes and Dancers, A Gay Men's Dance Company, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Manhattan Theater Club, First All Children's Theater, C.S.C. Classic Stage Company, Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater

Notable or memorable instructors or mentors:
Hitoshi Ujiie
Gerald Samuels (my father)

Particular field of study or class work:
Textile print design
Experimental fashion/costume design
Digital printmaking/textile installation

Major influences/admired artists:
I believe in “data mashing” from all histories and cultures. The advent of the internet has allowed for universal accessibility to all cultures and histories, and contemporary perspectives. Much of my work evolves out of appropriation and transformation of historic and cultural iconography, where I strive to create a world of dualities depicting growth, gender, beauty, loss and decay. I have drawn from 13th Century Japanese woodblock prints depicting battles of samurai warriors, to 19th Century Toile de Jouy hunting scenes illustrating latent violence. Western European Art historical genres like Surrealism, and Renaissance art interest me, just as much as contemporary artists like Kara Walker, and Kehindy Wiley, and Wengechi Mutu. I am also interested in Islamic art, Hindu manuscript paintings, and Medieval Art. Contemporary craft, product design and architecture can be just as inspirational as pop culture like: music videos, animation and fashion design.

I always tell my students that concepts and ideas are just as important as art history. Conceptual frameworks that interest me are: Biomimicry/fairytales and fantasy/Dualities in life processes in nature/morality stories/eco biodiversity/world religions and philosophy/symbols, networks and systems in nature and art/literature and story-telling and poetry

Favorite materials or media:
I hand paint with gouache which I love, and digitally scan my work at a high resolution and scale up my images and digitally print on various substrates.

School or university affiliation (when Convention Center acquired artwork):
Interdisciplinary Assistant Professor
Fashion, Fine Arts (Textiles), Foundation
Moore College of Art and Design

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