Kosuke Yamawaki

Kosuke Yamawaki graduated from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the Tokyo University of the Arts.He creates paintings as an artist and has held many exhibitions in Japan and abroad. He exhibited at BEYOND THE BORDER, Tangram Art Center (SHANGHAI) with internationally acclaimed artists Zhou Tiehai, Yuki Onodera, Toeko Tatsuno, Miyako Ishiuchi, and others. In June 2018, he supervised the art for Isshin Inudo’s film “Neko wa Dakumono.” The following year he held a solo exhibition at the Kasumigaseki Building, 31 Builedge, Kasumigaseki Plaza Hall. In 2021, he participated in a group exhibition that included Daido Moriyama and Tomoo Gokita. From 2023, he will permanently exhibit his first public artwork at the “HOKKAIDO BALLPARK F VILLAGE,” an area that includes the new baseball stadium of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Artist Statementkers. He sees his work as a psychogram of a positivist consumer society that tries to escape its own mortality.


Artist Statement

The existence of animals is the most familiar metaphor for humans. As seen in the murals of Lascaux in ancient times, and as we say in everyday conversation today, "That man looks like a monkey," humans have often compared humans to animals. To depict animals may lead to a symbolic depiction of the human condition, but this does not mean I try to anthropomorphize animals. The animal is not only a symbol of the viewer but also of nature itself. I often depict animals on canvas as larger than the viewer and represent the flow of the animal's fur in a fluid, deformed aspect, like the flow of air or water. The reason for this is that my works are influence by landscape painting. In traditional landscape painting, the motifs are explicitly and symbolically depicted based on the premise that human beings are tiny in the natural world but, at the same time, are kept alive by the grandeur of nature. Therefore, the motifs of landscapes were sometimes depicted as physically large, as if they were larger-than-life organisms that transcended human existence, and in an organic and glamorous manner (very similar to the way idols are depicted). Landscape paintings are not simply paintings that illustrate nature's beauty but are mirrors that reflect how people are, borrowing from natural forms. The presence of animals in my work is equivalent to that of landscapes. At the same time, in my work, the animal stares at the viewer from within the canvas. This direct metaphor of a person being gazed upon by nature is straightforward question of the act of viewing. When the viewer feels "gazed upon by nature" in the act of viewing, the symbolism of the painting (or the animal in my work) becomes symbolic to the viewer, and the viewer touches the "spirit" that exists behind the image. (I believe that the moment when the viewer touches the spirit through a work of art is what people call the "spirit of life and motion"). Appreciation is a means of encountering the spirit behind the motif. When confronted with that spirit, the act of appreciation may be transformed into self-reflection for the viewer.