• Chika Ueno
  • Chika Ueno
  • Chika Ueno
Photography: Yoshitake Hamanaka, Model: Misaki Hagiwara

ART+CULTURE: Chika Ueno’s personal hair work is inspired by her emotions, thoughts, and objects that are filled with life

Photography: Yoshitake Hamanaka, Model: Misaki Hagiwara

Chika Ueno is a a freelance hair stylist based in Tokyo. She remembers being in elementary school and watching behind the scenes footage of fashion weeks around the world with hair stylists and makeup artists working their magic. Ever since then she knew this would be her path. After working as a hairdresser in Osaka for several years, Ueno decided to move to Tokyo to pursue freelance session work, styling hair for artists, commercials, editorials, and fashion shows. When she isn’t on the job, she is working on her hair art in which she challenges us to see hair in different kinds of contexts, while retaining a familiar, organic element.

What do you enjoy most about working with hair? I enjoy seeing how well I am able to grasp others’ world views, and see how well I can express my own. Looking (back) at the results is exciting.

Has the current isolation given you time to do or make something that you might not have? I was very busy before the isolation, so in a sense I’m thankful for the time I have now to draw my illustrations, to create works with my hair extensions, etc. Doing so has allowed me to notice what I still need to work on, how I feel during these times, and use this as research knowledge for what I can focus on after the isolation is lifted.

Photography: Kana Anzai

Do you have any alternative outlets for your creativity besides working with hair? I also make head props, masks, and illustrations.

What benefits do you think creating something with your hands has on your state of mind? I always feel enriched, and filled with a sense of achievement.

What are your tips for getting into a creative mindset? To put myself in that mindset, I tend to spend time in nature, and write my thoughts and feelings in a journal.

Who are your favourite artists or creatives? Taro Okamoto, Chiharu Shiota, Shinro Ohtake, Christian Boltanski, Kohei Nawa.

Photography: Yoshitake Hamanaka, Flower design: Azu Kimura

Interview: Katharina Lina
Photography: Yoshitake Hamanaka, Kana Anzai
Hair: Chika Ueno
Flower design: Azu Kimura
Translation: Saya Bellamy
Model: Misaki Hagiwara

  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR
  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR
  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR
  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR
  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR