Meet

Una Ursprung

Where are you from and where do you reside?
I am from Taiwan and now live in France, near Basel.
When did you begin your current practice?
In 2016, after I moved to Switzerland.
Where do you find your day-to-day inspiration?
The advantage of living in the countryside is that I am very close to nature and my daily inspiration can come from the landscape I see around me. It could be the flowers on the road in front of my house, the forest behind my home or even the plants in my backyard. The environment around me is very important to my work. Most of my paintings are based on what I see in my surroundings, and are also influenced by the season or the climate.

Are the landscapes you paint specific or invented?
Most of them are based on the specific landscape around me. Sometimes I will combine other landscapes, or find other ways to transform what I observe.
Have you always worked with sprayed paint? Do you use spray paint from a can or an airbrush?
I first started using spray paint as a medium in 2016. I bought a few cans when I was shopping at an art supply store because I was attracted by their beautiful colors.

Slant
Most of my paintings are based on what I see in my surroundings, and are also influenced by the season or the climate. — Una Ursprung
You mentioned the addition of spray paint in your work is meant to represent the invisible or unnoticed particles in the air such as pollution, dust or insects. What drew you to representing this in your work and how did you land on spray paint as a means to express it?
In the beginning I tried to use spray paint to express the light, air, and wind in the forest. It can be given many different meanings, such as the floating particles in the air or the trajectory of an insect flying. I am fascinated by the subtle visible and invisible qualities in the air. I thought that the particles and the foggy quality of the spray paint would be a good way to illustrate these things. As I continued to use the spray paint in my paintings, I felt that the interference was very much like human intervention in the natural environment. Thus, spray paint has grown to take on multiple meanings in my paintings.
What necessities do you require when making your art?
A TV series. I don’t actually watch while I’m working, but I like to listen. It’s like radio to me. I am not very serious about following the story, I just need the feeling that there are people around to accompany me when I’m working. I don’t listen to music because it grabs too much of my attention and keeps me from concentrating on my work.

Are you formally trained?
Yes, I received a complete education in the arts. I took art classes in junior high school and high school. Then I studied art at university in Taiwan, and also in France. I grew up with art.
Do you remember the first work of art that captured your attention?
I remember the first exhibition my mother took me to when I was a child was an exhibition of Sanyu’s paintings. I was very impressed by the texture of the paint, the detail of the colors, and the smoothness of the line. This was the first time I saw a work of art in person. It was also when I first decided I wanted to be an artist.

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