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(Left bottom) Drawing of Labels of Umeyama’s Family Portrait, 2015, Graphite on paper, 19 x 21 inches

(From the drawn labels in the drawing)

Shoei Umeyama, Family Portrait, c. 2015

Ink on oriental paper 

Courtesy of H.T. Stringer 

Umeyama painted this family portrait from a photograph which he happened to bring to the US. The original photograph was taken several days before his favorite sister’s marriage. Young Umeyama appears on the far left as a teenage boy.


He recalls all the ado right before the photo shooting. For example, his elder sister, Fumi, put on her  mother’s cosmetics in secret. When Umeyama’s little sister, Nui, discovered what Fumi was doing, she demanded the same treatment. However, Fumi was a stern older sister and refused, disappointing Nui to the point of jealous tears.


Umeyama also mentioned that he put extra attention on painting Fumi’s face, which resulted in making her face too dark.

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