Oyama Yasuyuki (b. 1979)
A studio in a shipping container surrounded by mountains, a rice field at the back door, croaking frogs and Mt.Fuji nearby, set the scene for the individual works of Oyama Yasuyuki. Bewitched by metal as a material from childhood, Oyama chose a university where he could study the art and craft of metalwork without making any conscious choice as to a career path. In second year university, he tentatively entered a work into a competition, unexpectedly taking the grand prize. One could suggest that from this point on his career was determined.
That prize-winning work was a functional object, and it is the combination of function and beauty, traditional to Japanese art, that continues to exercise Oyama’s creativity. He wishes to express a new ‘shibui’, the latest, most up-to-date, contemporary, yet with a whisper of nostalgia. He expresses a desire to create things that have not been created before and takes his inspiration from a multitude of sources: In metal work his former teacher and mentor Kaneko Toru is a respected figure, but Oyama also finds inspiration in the works of fashion designer Martin Margiela, architect Tadao Ando and rock musician Hiroji Miyamoto of Elephant Kashimashi. He finds a common identity as a revolutionary artist with these figures- “ In their own fields they create things that have not been created before, they do things that no-one has done before. And this is not new for new’s sake, it extends beyond this to a high degree of perfection. I am inspired and attracted to this kind of person.”
Oyama works primarily with aluminium, creating uniquely coloured and textured surfaces by using urushi, Japanese lacquer, in conjunction with the metal. His shapes are sensuous and appealing, the colours adding a dash of excitement and allure in keeping with a contemporary sense of ‘cool’. He has extended his work to jewellery, and to an exciting range of functional wares for modern living. His funky sake cups and sake pourers are ever popular.
Oyama Yasuyuki is distinguished by a mature and rounded perspective on life and on his work. He has a clear vision of where he is headed and how he is going to get there. He is dedicated and committed, retains an infectious enjoyment of life and his work, and is selective in where he applies himself. He is broad-minded and seeks intellectual stimulation. He is one of the most promising artists of his time.