Kazuto Uota is a painter and conceptual artist. Uota studied at Musashino Art School in Tokyo, Japan and now lives in Nagano, Japan.
Tell us how you came to be an artist. I was born at Osaka Japan in 1960. I started painting after I graduated from high school when I was 18 years old. First, I studied the Japanese style of painting as a pupil under a professional painter for about two years. Then, at another school I studied drawing. I joined the church at 19 years old and went on a mission at age 21 for 18 months. After I returned from my mission I studied the Japanese style of painting seriously again at the Musashino Art School in Tokyo, Japan for an additional three years.
How does the gospel influence your art? I joined the church in 1979 and I started studying art and life of the gospel at almost the same time. The gospel is the base and the motif of my artwork. Both the gospel and art lead me to the truth of God. For example, It is a way of expressing of my creating to using nails, I use nails as an icon of sin which I have committed. I have been always hammering a lot of nail(sin) into a body of my Lord, and his body has been injured and broken by my sins. When I act using nails in my creating, I realize my weakness and love of my Lord which he had paid the price to redeem me from my sins.
What are you working on next? Now, I have created works using different ways of expressing myself. For example, by using nails, by knitting hemp clothes and twines, and by burning, etc. The way of expressing of art will be changed, but I am going to create art works based on the gospel all the time from now on.