Artists | Gakushi Yamamoto

Gakushi Yamamoto
A seat at Japan's table of important contemporary sculptors may seem like a pipe dream for most young Japanese artists. A gathering could include high-profile sculptors like Isamu Noguchi, Lee U-Fan, Enoki Chu, Isamu Wakabayashi, Shigeo Toya, Keizo Ushio, Katsura Funakoshi and Noe Aoki. Rising stars like Izumi Kato, Nawa Kohei, Yoshihiro Suda, Yasuyuki Nishio and Koji Tanada could also find a chair.  And yet there is room at the table for a young, up and coming sculptor like Gakushi Yamamoto who is developing, with iron, a unique and impactful sculptural style. In fact, Yamamoto has been creating his very own chairs.
Why chairs? "I wanted to work with the concept of  konseki , the idea of ephemeral traces," explains Yamamoto with a shy smile.  "When someone rises from a chair they leave behind an impression in the cushion or the warmth of their body or some trace of their energy. So a chair seemed to be the perfect vehicle for this phenomenon." Yamamoto feels it's easy to visually connect with a chair. "Chairs are made for the human body and used in daily life so it's easy to generate a feeling or sensation in the mind when viewing a sculpture based on a chair form," he explains carefully. Backed by this familiarity, he feels that chairs can induce a story or a sense of mystery and anticipation. "After somebody has left a chair there's that feeling of something different, that something has changed," he says. "Who was sitting there? Will they come back? What would happen if I sat in the chair? People can create their own story."  For Yamamoto, imagination is the key. "It's like the chair is one piece of a puzzle. The viewers can take this piece and create their own puzzle, their own story, from their own imagination," he explains. "With the right visual incentive, 100 people can have 100 different ways of looking at the same thing."