Japanese painter Keiki Yamada has a particular inventive model that synthesizes the strategies of the Outdated Masters with modern conceptualism. Continuously portraying extraordinary meals or objects, akin to potatoes or a gumball machine, his compositional and technical therapy bestows an aura corresponding to that of Dutch Golden Age nonetheless lifes or Baroque style portray. Yamada studied oil portray at Tama Artwork College, Tokyo, giving him a strong basis in fashionable portray, however his embrace of classical supplies (like ceaselessly portray on board, moderately than canvas), illustrates an ongoing preoccupation with the portray traditions of yore. This 12 months, Yamada was the topic of a solo present at Shihodo Gallery, the place latest works highlighted his command of methods akin to chiaroscuro, in addition to his explorations of vintage genres akin to landscapes.
We reached out to Yamada to study extra about his fascination with early fashionable inventive kinds and historical past, in addition to the place he finds inspiration from his personal life.
Inform us about your background—what impressed you to develop into an artist?
I began as a result of I used to be amazed by the work of Matthias Grünewald and Albrecht Dürer in an artwork e-book I had at house as a toddler, and I at all times wished to know the way they painted. My first purpose was to amass their methods.
Are you able to describe the technical points of your work, and the portray methods you employ?
I take advantage of tempera and oil paints, based mostly on methods from the Renaissance.
What does the position of artwork historical past play in your follow?
I’m influenced by your entire historical past of oil portray for the reason that Center Ages. The first cause we’re capable of get pleasure from work from that period to at the present time isn’t solely because of restorers, but additionally as a result of that they had a longtime method.
Historical past is a superb supply of help, and I attempt to ensure that my work could be proven once more 700 years from now, similar to the Center Age and Renaissance works that haven’t pale away even after so many centuries. I attempt to discover supplies which might be as shut as potential to these utilized in that point and incorporate them into my manufacturing.
Is there a selected artist or artwork motion that has impressed or influenced your work essentially the most?
Mark Rothko. I used to be shocked once I noticed the Rothko Room in Kawamura, Japan, and went to see all of the Rothko Rooms—the one in Washington, the one in London. And I additionally just like the Mono-ha painters. It is rather vital for artists to specific what they should in empty area, the place the viewer should think about.
You ceaselessly select acquainted objects as the topics of your work. What are a number of the beginning factors you employ when deciding what to painting? How does reminiscence think about?
This can be a sense of “Ma” that’s specific to Japanese tradition: It’s the place decoding the that means of empty area or blankness, or studying between the traces in literary expression, is essential.
Every little thing in my day by day life is prime, however particularly issues I skilled as a toddler, akin to on a regular basis actions at house or an expertise on the way in which to highschool. It’s nothing particular, however I feel there are some issues that we bear in mind. I put numerous photographs into the area that’s there. I draw not solely visible issues, but additionally invisible issues, akin to weight, odor, style, and emotion.
Has the dichotomy between Japanese and Western inventive kinds and methods affected or influenced your follow?
Within the Japanese custom, paint is utilized—it’s like filling in a coloring e-book. Within the West, I draw with paint. It’s like engraving. Portray an area could be very completely different from drawing it. On this case, the course of contact, or software of paint, is essential.
What are you engaged on now? Are there any new themes or topics that you just’re hoping to interact with?
Japan has 4 seasons, and there are various seasonal occasions. I’m making an attempt to create artworks that categorical these seasons.
Study extra about Keiki Yamada’s work right here.
Observe Artnet Information on Fb:
Need to keep forward of the artwork world? Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get the breaking information, eye-opening interviews, and incisive important takes that drive the dialog ahead.