umeboshi sheed001 test

Umeboshi pit – A story began with- Mixed media on washi paper 30×25(cm) 2014

kaccha lights

Hahinohe story2014 Pencil on Kozo paper 110×300(cm)  2014

hachinohe story2014

Hahinohe story2014 Pencil on Kozo paper 110×300(cm)  2014


Hachinohe Story 2014 image 2014

ume tree 3-original.s

Yamayama Kurukuru – Plum tree- Mixed media on Awa washi paper 29×24(cm) 2013

ume tree 2

Yamayama Kurukuru -Plum tree pink- Mixed media on Awa washi paper 29×24(cm) 2013


Yamayama Kurukuru – dark cloud- Mixed media on Awa washi paper 29×24(cm) 2013

dancing ojisanYamayama Kurukuru – rainy dance- Ink and pencil on paper  29×24(cm) 2013



Original Lino print on washi paper 2010

umeboshi sheed012.s Umeboshi spiting – in the forest- Pencil on paper 29×29(cm) 2014 umeboshi sheed009Umeboshi spitting  Water color on paper 29×29(cm) 2014

umeboshi sheed014.s

Umeboshi pit – May- Water color on washi paper 24×29(cm) 2014

umeboshi sheed023

Umeboshi pit Pencil on paper 30×25(cm) 2014

forest boy.s

  Forest Boy (Pencil drawing on textile) 60×80(cm) 2014     Ink (pencil drawing) 30×30(cm) 2013   c3_work_o19 Zuider zee 29×42(cm) 2010




Sayaka Abe’s work starts with a question about people who she has encountered. She examines different stories like a painful situation somewhere in someone’s life; someone being lonely by growing old; or someone losing its senses by city life. Stories that unfold or become uncovered through Abe’s own experiences and the communication that she shares with people around her. She transforms these experiences into 3D drawings and intimate spaces. She uses life-sized drawings in order to provide people, herself included, a way to reflect on themselves through the works. This is Abe’s first solo

3 SERIES, 2008

Photograph by Sara Bjarland

shunshui painting

shnshui painting 2

The imaginary mountain and fighting with water

chiffon,lino print, thread

630×1540 (mm)  2008

The Shan shui image based on the Dutch mountains and water. Shan shui paintings are a style of traditional Chinese ink painting. They have specific motifs of ‘Mountains’ and ‘Water’ as sacred elements. The water represents purity and the mountain the highest place one could ever reach. The paintings use a similar technique as calligraphy and are done with a brush dipped in black or colored ink. As with calligraphy, the most popular materials on which they’re painted are rice paper and silk. Shan shui paintings first arose to prominence during the 5th century. Abe sees that they have a sense of utopia in them.  It could be a form of idealistic city planning

 What could be a Dutch ‘sacred landscape’ in Shan shui painting? The Dutch don’t have mountains even if they never wished for them. Instead of naturally existing features, the Dutch often create their own surroundings. Usually the mountain is the tallest thing you can see in nature but in the Netherlands the highest things are their buildings. She sees the buildings as being the Dutch mountains. Abe believes that the Dutch sacred place is ideological, as seen through the regulated Dutch city planning. Abe explores the tyranny of water in the context of the Dutch sub-sea level terrain.

Abe wants the painting to be a reflection of the impact of her own situation of growing up in a country of mountains – Japan, while living where there are no mountains, even lower than the sea, in The Netherlands.

 To enhance the perspective, similar to that which the images in Shan shui paintings have, she printed curved lino-blocks on three separate layers of chiffon. The prints refer to Dutch architecture piled into boats like towering islands/mountains which look at mans relationship to nature.

sayaka abe.shanshui5