“in vitro”

  • Installation view at Aichi Triennale 2019
    “in vitro” 2019
    Photo: Ito Tetsuo

The large acrylic frames are hung from the ceiling in the gallery. They looks like large petri dishes. The delicate organdy in the frame is embroidered and appliqued that casts a shadow on the floor. The work of Usui has focused on problems of woman and labor through embroidery and shadows. Her pregnancy made the artist conceive this new theme. Most of the motifs embroidered are associated with babies and families, and are symmetrical in pairs, after the chromosome structure. The title "in vitro" refers to that which happens outside of the body in artificial conditions, often in a test tube. With the progress of science, the mystery around the birth of life has been gradually revealed and elucidated. At the same time, it is also necessary to advance our values judgments, plus ethics, in response to new areas of research that have not been considered before.


  • Born 1980 in Tokyo, Japan
  • Based in Kasukabe, Saitama, Japan

As a woman living and working in Japanese society, Usui Yui creates work that unravels modern and contemporary history, questioning the viewer about the position of women. In shadow of a coin (2013-2016) and shadow work (2012-2016)--pieces that attack gender imbalances (the "shadowed" side of women and labor in capitalist society) and that characterize her expressive direction--organdy is embroidered with sharp, though at first glance delicate, messages. The very fact that Usui's work is based on women eschews simply observing the history and experiences of the other, rather representing her commitment to attempting to intervene as a party directly concerned--a practice she is currently in the process of developing further.

Selected Works & Awards

2018 VOCA2018, The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2016 Assembridge NAGOYA 2016, PANORAMA GARDEN -Discovering Signs in an Alternative Ecosystem-, Former Minato Dormitory of Nagoya Customs, Aichi, Japan
2016 shadow work (solo), Oyama City Kurumaya Art Museum, Tochigi, Japan


Nagoya City Art Museum


2-17-25, Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-0008 JAPAN


Admission until
30 minutes
before closing


Mondays (Except for National Holidays), Sep.17[Tue]


・8 minutes on foot from Fushimi Station on the Higashiyama Line or Tsurumai Line
・7 minutes on foot from Osu Kannon Station on the Tsurumai Line
・10 minutes on foot from Yabasho Station on the Meijo Line