Sueko Hamilton Ritchie

Born in Osaka, Japan

Live in London, UK

Contact E-mail:


2015 - 2018 BA (Hons) Painting with First Class Honours, Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London, UK

Artist’s Statement

My interest is the relationship between viewers and my work. My main practice is focusing on how viewers perceive my paintings and their resulting physically interact with my paintings.

Buddhism heavily influences my native Japanese culture. As such, I see the world as in flux with many continuous cycles – light and shadow, hard and soft, seasons of the year. I explore the use of colour systems to create a visual ambiguity in my work that requires viewers to move around or through my paintings and participate with my work, seeking alternative vantage points to view the work. I create optical illusions by experimenting with colour systems, light and shadow.

When I painted an abstract landscape using my memory of Japan, I was surprised by how differently non-Japanese viewers read my work. Their reactions, with their completely different visual references for landscapes, were confusing. I struggled to answer their questions on colour and composition and this formed a critical part of my further research.

The development process for ‘My memory of a colourful life’ was understanding the origins of my visual identity and how non-Japanese people react to colour usage. This is an experimental painting towards a common visual language bridging Japanese and Western cultures. Clouds are one of the main motifs in Yamato-e and a common motif of Western landscapes. My challenge is to combine optical and psychological perception to represent the concept of my visual identity utilizing light and shadow within a colour system.

I have begun to incorporate more of my Japanese cultural background into my work, using a combination of hard edge techniques with traditional calligraphic brushstrokes, an additional cycle with parallels to the pervasive and continual cycle of construction and destruction present on a volcanic island chain like Japan that suffers from frequent natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. The combination of organic and geometric forms is common in Japanese traditional crafts and Kimono textile patterns, representing the co-existence of humans with nature, a fundamental Japanese philosophy and one of my sources of inspiration.

Group Shows


‘The Visible Light and Colour’, Menier Gallery, London, UK

‘Camberwell College of Arts Undergraduate Design and Fine Art Summer Show 2018’, Camberwell College of Arts UAL, London, UK

‘Interim-ing ; Camberwell College of Arts Interim Show; BA Painting and Photography’, Copeland Gallery, London, UK


‘Unit’, CGP Gallery, London, UK


‘Tuesday Group Hampstead Art Show’, Peggy Jay Gallery, London, UK

‘Camberwell BA Fine Art End of Year Show’, Camberwell College of Arts, London, UK


‘City Lit Fin Art Final Year Exhibition’, Espacio gallery, London, UK