Hanae Utamura (born in Tokyo, Japan in 1980) graduated from Goldsmiths College and Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, UK. Her graduation show (in conjunction with the Axis MAstar program) led to residency at London’s Florence Trust in 2011/2012.
Her exhibitions in London include: the SV10: Members’ Show, curated by Jennifer Higgie and Rebecca Warren, at Studio Voltaire (2010); the solo show CONSTRUCT: Fountain at WW Gallery (2012); and the Aichi Triennale 2010 in Japan among others. Hanae Utamura was awarded a UNESCO-Aschberg Bursary toward a 2013 residency at National Art Studio (Changdong)/National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea. Her work has been acquired by private UK collections. Additionally she received the Pola Art Foundation grant to continue her research in Germany in 2014.
Hanae Utamura considers her work "transart"– art that tries to go beyond art and expand into life itself. Making no artwork for five years working full-time in Tokyo, she focused on "salaryman" working morning to midnight. Questioning this acceleration of labour led to her Secret Performance Series. In these works the artist – a small anonymous figure – makes subtle, insistent interventions in edge territories such as cliffs, deserts, deep snow, shoreline beaches, iced lakes, and tsunami-stricken areas in Japan.
Centered on ideas of myth, Hanae Utamura’s work witnesses various actions and plays within residues of the moment, revealed through word of mouth, texts, objects, videos, and photographs.