“A Long, Long, Long Time Ago”

©︎Keisuke Yamamoto

Keisuke Yamamoto produces work by moving back and forth between the two methods of sculpture and painting.
In his work until the 2000s, various motifs such as plants and flowers, mushrooms and fairies merge into organic curves and turn into one form with a unique palette. This fantastic world was enlarged to its extreme as a large sculpture over 5m in height, which was exhibited in his solo exhibition “rise” in 2009. The work struck the viewer with its overwhelming volume and vivid colors. Since the making of this piece Yamamoto’s work has started to change.
In 2012 he presented sculptural works that used found materials such as old tools in his solo exhibition “Brown Sculptures”. Yamamoto had a strong adoration for colors and paintings, but in this exhibition he only presented modest wood sculptures abandoning colors and only using brown. To make some figures, or personify something out of formerly functional objects is quite familiar to Japanese people, and Yamamoto’s folk sensitivity suggests a new direction in his work. The artist remarks, “I am interested in the history of human creation and impulse. Being aware of that, my sculptures and paintings possess continuously developing inter-relations.”
Painting is vital as one of the two wheels of Yamamoto’s production. Art critic Midori Matsui refers to it as uniting “decorative design and symbolic association by combining geometrical patterns with plant images”. This exhibition will feature sculptures including the wooden pieces made using old tools, as well as paintings.

Artist Profile

Keisuke Yamamoto

Keisuke Yamamoto was born in 1979 in Tokyo. After graduating from the department of Sculpture of Tokyo Zokei University in 2001 he stayed at the university as a research student until 2003. In 2018 he graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduate School of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture. He currently lives and works in Kanagawa. This show at Tomio Koyama Gallery is his sixth solo exhibition, and his major group exhibitions include “VOCA 2008” (2008, The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo), “Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese Art” (2009, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, traveled to several international museums), “Twist and Shout: Contemporary Art from Japan” (2009, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre), and “Nostalgia and Fantasy: Imagination and Its Origins in Contemporary Art” (2014, National Museum of Art, Osaka). His work is collected by the National Museum of Art, Osaka and international private collections.