Artist Feature – Una Ursprung
“Since the beginning of my artistic career, I have focused on depicting landscapes, especially forests and trees. Throughout every stage of my creative development, the forests reflected my life experiences at the time.
In the early stages of my career, I studied in Brittany, France and I painted mostly peaceful mystic forests. After graduation, I returned to Taiwan where I started painting sceneries and forests nostalgic of the past and imaginative of the future. During these two periods, I expressed my ideas through fantasies. Since 2016 I have been residing in Europe countryside where life is tranquil. Here, I rarely encounter any distractions and mood swings, and I have even more motivation to adapt to my living environment. I live a simple life by following the course of nature, which gradually leads me to a pastoral lifestyle. The sceneries I have painted do not refer to any particular locations. Some of these forests are near my house, and some of them derive from my memories or impressions of forests seen before. I wish the landscape from this particular period would appear neutral, with fewer symbols, references, or metaphors.
This time, my creative desire arises from a simultaneous drawing of figurative scenery and abstract lines. I also focus on media and techniques to explore the space and visual sense of painting. Hence, I combine these two types of representation. First, I paint in oil with brushes. Figurative painting techniques allow me to manage the space of scenery. Afterward, I apply more direct abstract lines to create an atmosphere generated by two spaces. Regarding the abstract lines, at the very beginning I painted only in oil with a brush, yet driven by curiosity, I tried spray-paint. Spray paint is a modern medium, which ranges quite differently from traditional mediums such as oil paint. The combination of spray paint and oil paint draws a vivid contrast, creating a diverging visual effect. Spray-painted abstract lines and color blocks resemble secretive texts hovering over the surface of the oil painting, freezing a fleeting moment of floating bugs, leaves, light, and dust in a forest. Moreover, it’s a metaphor as a refection on enviroment pollution.
Out of the entire creation process, I am most interested in spray-painting the landscape paintings I have already accomplished. Doing so allows me to directly see my hand motions and my body actions, for instance, I would be able to see my hands tracing a circle, drawing short lines, or creating long lines. These motions are fast yet free, for they have the ability to immediately change the atmosphere I have initially fostered with my careful strokes. It almost feels like another person stepped into my painting and displayed a different set of personality, desires, and space. I am intrigued by this result because I do not recognize this set of changes as destructive, but a necessary step for a complete piece of art”.
Born in Taipei in 1985, Una Ursprung (née Chang-Yu HSU) graduated from the Taipei National University of the Arts in 2007, and Ecole Européenne Supérieure d’Art de Bretagne site Quimper in France in 2011 (from which she received Diplôme National Supérieur d’Expression Plastique, the highest honor awarded by the National Arts Councils and Culture Agencies). Currently, she lives and works in France. Her works have been exhibited in Taipei, London, Düsseldorf and Paris.