“I moved to the United States from Japan quite a few 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 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 than 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 – Danville, KY
Kensuke Yamada is a Japanese born maker, educated in the United States at Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA and at the University of Montana, receiving his MFA in 2009. Since then, he has been a Resident Artist at the Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Watershed, ME, Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR, Clay studio Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, and a guest artist/adjunct instructor at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia PA. Recently Kensuke was a visiting artist and ceramics studio technician/adjunct faculty member at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. He is currently at Centre College in Danville, KY faculty as visiting assistant professor of art.
His ceramic figurative work embodies enchantment and is inspired by universal experiences. He uses gestures, textures and patterns to relate simple, yet meaningful body language and facial expressions, all the while creating a rhythm that literally brings his figures to life. He spent the month of May 2016 as Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art’s Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence, creating the playful sculptures for his exhibition, “Diving Through Clouds”. This film documents the entire process of Kensuke’s residency from creation of the work to the final installation of the exhibition.