Pursuing the Japanese Zen Aesthetic
In recent years, Shigeru Yamada's works were deeply influenced by the aesthetic of Japanese Zen, such as wabi (simplicity) and sabi (elegance). His works were based on such aesthetic concepts as tranquility, rusticity, suggestiveness, and imperfection.
Okayama, where he was born and now works as an artist, has a deep relationship with Zen, producing famous artists and monks such as Sesshu and Ryokan. Yamada, who grew up in such an environment, may indeed be naturally motivated by that stimulus.
Yamada lived in Okayama until the age of 33 and painted by himself. Later, he studied at The Art Students League of New York, residing in New York from 1999 to 2004. New York’s racial diversity and endless desires transformed his creative style and may have awakened Zen in his mind. He released the concrete pictorial expressions of classical oil colors, and began to express the fragmentary colors and shapes in his memory through abstract painting. It was also an exploration of what beauty was inside him. It is said that, although beauty is a universal concept, it cannot be defined universally. His search for beauty is, therefore, more focused on presenting the question than on finding the answer.
With a few fellow artists, Yamada works in a large studio which is a former denim processing factory. His base of activity is in Uno, facing the Seto Inland Sea where ships pass, bound for Naoshima, which has recently become famous as the Island of Art.
Blowing in the sea breeze, you can see many islands within a few minutes' walk and the scenery will clear your mind.
1966 Born in Okayama, Japan
Currently lives and works in Okayama, Japan
Selected Public Collections: