Hybrid creatures / Design Philadelphia 2013

Heather Ujiie

Artist statement:

In my current textile installation work, I strive to create large-scale allegorical narratives that utilize analog and digital craft and technology. As a designer and an artist, I hope my work suggests a fusion between clean elegant design, and the raw underpinnings of creative expression. I am preoccupied by the dichotomies within the human condition, which are characterized by growth, beauty, loss and decay. I am also intrigued with notions pertaining to our gender identity, mortality and sexuality. Much of my work evolves out of inspiration from historic and cultural iconography and nature studies. 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. All my textile work is a synthesis of several methods of artistry, including hand painting, drawing, stitching, and printing with innovative large-format digital printing technology. I hope my digitally printed textile 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.

Biography and Education

Heather Ujiie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Visual Art from the State University of New Paltz, New York State Certification in Art Education K-12 from Brooklyn College, and an Associates Degree in Textile Surface Design, from The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has over 15 years of experience as a textile designer, designing printed textiles for the high-end home furnishing and apparel markets in New York City. Her commercial printed textile designs have had numerous clients including Flavor Paper, and The White House private residences for President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, Washington D.C. She has also designed costumes for experimental theater and Dance in NYC, including The Julliard School and Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater.

Born in Greenwich Village, New York City, Heather Ujiie currently lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Moore College of Art & Design, where she serves as an Interdisciplinary Assistant Professor in Fashion, Textiles, Interior Design, and Foundation Design. Her textile art installations have been exhibited in The Hunterdon Museum of Art, The Racine Art Museum, and at the Wind Challenge Award Exhibition at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial Museum. Her work has also been included in exhibitions in the Cleveland Museum of Art, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, The Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, and The Philadelphia International Airport.