I moved to the United States from Japan ten years ago as a foreign exchange student. My story begins with the limited knowledge of the English language I came here with. My primary commonality with other people and with my surroundings was of the human gesture: facial expressions, body motions, the darting of a hand or blinking of an eye.
In my struggle to learn the language and communicate through speech I gained a strong empathy for the universal experiences that seem to provide the undercurrent to language. I gained an awareness for the complexities of our daily functions, and the social infrastructures that subtly guide these interactions.
In my sculpture I seek figurative extensions of these shared experiences. Clay has become another primary source of communication for me. The vocabulary consists of gestures, patterns, textures, colors and rhythms. In conversation these qualities bring the figure to life.
With clay I look for sculptural conversations that evoke the beauty, the subtleties, the sadness and the humor of our everyday life. In viewing my sculpture I hope for people to enjoy the moment, rather then the movement of time. I hope for my work to fill the space between two seemingly distant things, to provide a connection and thus create the story of you and me.
Kensuke Yamada was born in Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan and received his MFA at the University of Montana. He received his BA at The Evergreen State College in Washington. Kensuke’s exaggerated playful figurative work has been exhibited Through out the United States and he most recently completed a residency at the Archie Bray Foundation and was the recipient of the 2009-2010 MJD Bray Fellowship award. He was a Resident Artist at The Clay Studio(Philadelphia) from 2012 - 2013. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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