Kensuke Yamada (b. 1979) is an artist born in Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan. He received his MFA from the University of Montana in 2009 and has a BA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Kensuke has participated in artist residency programs at The Archie Bray Foundation (Montana) and The Clay Studio Philadelphia (Philadelphia). His work is exhibited nationally and internationally, and he presents numerous workshops and lectures throughout the states. He was also a visiting artist and instructor at Tyler School of Art and Architecture and the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville). He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, AR. Yamada is a sculptor who creates layered narratives within his figurative works.
“I moved to the United States from Japan a little over 20 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 my surroundings was human gestures: facial expressions, body motions, the darting of a hand, or the 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 through art. I gained awareness of 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. 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. Viewing my sculpture, I hope people 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.”