Featured Artist Kensuke YamadaNov 06, 2020 - Dec 22, 2020

Curatorial Statement

Exhibition Posted Online: Monday, November 9, 2020 by 10am MT


Kensuke Yamada was born in Japan and came to the US to attend Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA where he received his BA. He continued his ceramics education at the University of Montana, receiving his MFA in 2009. Since then, he has been a Resident Artist at the Archie Bray Foundation, MT, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, and Guest Artist/adjunct instructor at the Tylor School of Art, Temple University Philadelphia, A visiting Artist/Ceramics Studio Technician/ instructor at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, also visiting Assistant Professor at Centre College, Danville, KY. He is currently instructor at University of Arkansas Little Rock, AR. Yamada is a sculptor that creates layered narratives within his figurative works.


I moved to the United States from Japan 18 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 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