YAMADA Yuki (Painter)
Born in 1989 in Yokohama.
Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Design and joined Dentsu Inc. in 2012. Yamada visited Hateruma Island (the southernmost inhabited island in Japan) first in 2011 and again in 2013. During this second visit, he found out that the small island had unique culture and faith deeply rooted in that area. For example, wells, ruins, creation myths, and sacred places. He became fascinated and learning about the backgrounds of these places had changed his whole view and impression of the island. Since then, he started visiting the island two or three times a year. He became absolutely fascinated with the “special sense” he received from the island. “Due to the overwhelming beauty and warmth of nature, I felt as if my mere existence melted. It overflowed from my body and the border between myself and the world disappeared,” he explains. This experience inspired him to express these “special senses” in his paintings, nurturing his style of art. For example, “the sensation of running through the vast sugar cane field with the blowing wind,” in “Sugar Cane Field”, “bathing in the sunlight coming through the trees,” in “Birth of Lights”, and “the sensation of melting into the sand when walking barefoot onto the water’s edge,” in “Melting in Seashore” and so on. “The physical sensation I receive through the nature of Hateruma Island often remains somewhere inside my body, so I try to explore and express the feel of it when I draw.” For Yamada, drawing is about re-experiencing the moment of connection with “something invisible” through nature, and then making them visible. To emphasize the energy of the experience, he uses the sand of the island as his painting material or adopts local folklores as his painting motifs. Besides painting, he works as a producer to host an art exhibition called “Hateruma Exhibition”, along with the development of souvenir products in cooperation with islanders. He also works as a publicist of the island by the nickname of “Hateruman”. “JUGAZO (layered self-portraits)", a sequence of daily self-portrait, is another project he is working on, which has become his lifework. “JUGAZO” project was chosen as an iconic image of a worldwide photographic exhibition project. His two major art projects, the paintings inspired by “Hateruma Island” and the “JUGAZO” project are both on the theme of “smallness of a human being and greatness of being a part of the universe at the same time”. Yamada wishes to communicate with people all over the world through this art and theme.