Yamamoto Shuji’s piece, in the small patio between galleries, takes the pine trees lining the street of Kanchogai Avenue as its theme. With rocks and branches curving to form a gate, it is as though nature has conspired to bring together the plants and rocks and mounds of earth and then breathe special life into this miniature landscape.
Gardening, which Yamamoto has been engaged in since university, is always a big influence in his work. The pines he has created are each strange in form, yet based on techniques learned from Japanese traditional landscaping methods of altering natural objects to create new compositional elements. Or rather we should say that they represent such elements but are themselves FRP (fiber reinforced plastic) with pine needles rendered as symbols. Maintaining traditional rules, while perversely mixing the natural and artificial, somehow resulting in anthropomorphic forms: these bizarre choices make Yamamoto’s works both more obscure and more attractive.
Photo: Iwasaki Mami
Born 1979 in Tokyo, Japan. Yamamoto graduated from Tama Art University. Interested in the relationship between nature and humans, he pursues his art practice while traveling, brewing sake, building huts, and visiting the forest. Selected exhibitions include “Hakubutsugaku” at Block House (Tokyo, 2018) and “Le Jardin Convivial” at the Kyoto Botanical Gardens (Japan, 2019).