Yokoyama Osamu


(born 1980)

This young and very promising artist had an atypical itinerary on the Japanese bamboo arts scene. Originally from Matsumoto (Nagano Prefecture) in the "Japanese Alps", he was not descended from a family of weavers like so many of the artists in the discipline are, but rather a graphic artist, before he became completely enamored with bamboo's infinite potential as a material. This "call of the bamboo" left him no choice but to move to Beppu with his wife and his young daughter, where he spent several years in training with the great Morigami Jin.
Using only madake bamboo, a species endemic to Japan, he produces stunning three-dimensional work that lies somewhere between miniature architecture and futuristic creations. This artist is readily distinguishable from his peers by his use of self-taught techniques. His works are "connected" rather than "woven". This approach has opened the way for him to create large new sculptural forms that emphasize the raw and material beauty of bamboo. Yokoyama Osamu pushes the limits of bamboo and breathes new life into this new raw material in contemporary art. It consequently comes as no surprise that he should, in spite of his relatively short career, already have been the recipient of so many national awards.