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.
Ursprung’s focal theme lies in landscapes, particularly forests and trees. Every forest from different stages echoes her life experiences at the time. From France, Taiwan, to Switzerland, her constant migration brought new scopes to her creative expressions. She created mainly in painting, photography and collage. She utilizes a variety of mediums and techniques to explore the space and visual experiences of painting. She employs abstract lines to create a vivid contrast through the combination of oil painting and spray painting. The liberating and quick nature of spray paint immediately alter the careful and slow strokes of the original landscape constructed within the atmosphere of the forest. However, the visual message conveyed through the landscape does not collapse with the spray painting process but is rather expressed from the inner instead of the outer intentions. Moreover, brushstrokes that carry the body and subliminal messages float across the surface, transforming and reconstructing the visual message. Her paintings bring their audience into a realistic forest, following the artist. Ursprung fosters a vibrant forest that returns to the essence of nature, Moreover, a metaphor as a reflection on environment pollution.
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. 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. My creative desire arises from a simultaneous drawing of figurative scenery and
abstract painting. I like combining these two types of representation. I am also interested in a variety of mediums and techniques to explore the space and visual sense of painting. My works focus on forests and nature elements; initially, the creation of these colors floating in the air represent the freezing of a fleeting moment with insects, leaves, light or dust in the forest. It shows a scenery of quiet atmosphere in the woods.
If we go deeper, the spray paint represents the intervention of the human being in the ecosystem, since we are used to seeing the spray on in the city not in the nature. I tried to use the oil painting as symbol of nature, and the spray as symbol of human civilization. My goal was to create a conflict between these two worlds but somehow the result is a balanced harmony eventually. I tried to find a balance between oil painting and spray on my canvas, just like we people need to find the perfect balance with our environment.
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. The combination of spray paint and oil paint draws a vivid contrast, creating a diverging visual effect. Out of the entire creation process, I 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.