Ali Uchida


Ali Uchida is a photographic artist who has been drawn to the  furtherst western corner of Japan, the island of Tsushima. This island, close to the Korean Peninsula, was used as a crossroad of various exchanges with other countries from ancient times and where Korean and Japanese cultures are intertwined.


For more than 10 years Uchida has worked extensively on Tsushima where she felt that she wasn’t simply taking landscape photographs but that each photograph contained an invisible presence looming in the air and originating from the island’s complex and mystical history.

Uchida began traveling in search of "landscapes somewhere between the ordinary and the extraordinary". From then on, "the decision to photograph became a matter of finding in the landscape an everyday life in which both ‘hare' and ‘kegare’ (sacred and secular) exist simultaneously". 


The faded sepia-toned photographs make the captured landscapes loose their presentness, leading to landscapes in memory, which is a result of Uchida’s printing process where she uses the platinum palladium technique on gampi paper with pieces of silver foil applied to the back. Uchida’s works are unique pieces that have captured the ‘invisible things’ still lingering on this remote Japanese island where time seems to have stopped.


Uchida was born in Tokyo in 1978. She graduated from Tokyo Zokei University and studied the large scale printing technique at the Tokyo University of the Arts Photography Center as a domestic trainee of the Upcoming Artists of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Later, as an overseas trainee of the Pola Art Foundation, she studied the gum print process, a alternative photographic technique, in Goa, India. In recent years, she has received research assistance from the Terumo Life Science Foundation, researched alternative photographic techniques using materials for Japanese painting, and has been engaged in daily research and production to further improve her works.


She has held exhibitions in Japan and abroad such as "On an Isolated Island" (2019 Musee F, Tokyo.) and "Mountain of the Dead and the Holy Island” (2020 Kamakura Drawing Gallery,Kanagawa.).