Koichi Yamamoto is an artist who merges traditional and contemporary techniques so as to develop unique and innovative approaches to the language of printmaking. His prints explore issues of the sublime, memory, and atmosphere.
During his artist talk, Yamamoto discussed his creative process, the stages of his career, and some of the techniques he has developed over time.
Yamamoto has exhibited internationally. He has taught at Utah State University and the University of Delaware and is currently an Associate Professor at University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
He has worked at many scales, from small and meticulously engraved copper plates to large monotypes. Recently, his work has focussed on creation of custom printed kites.
His kites are made from traditional materials such as bamboo (for flexibility) and translucent Japanese kozo paper (for lightness and strength). Before construction of a kite begins, each sheet of kozo is intaglio printed with his unique images visualizing the movement of water, air and atmosphere. The resulting kites combine arresting visual images, conventional craft methodologies and sustainable materials. Created to be experienced outside of institutional walls and to mirror the ephemeral nature of existence, the kites in flight are whimsical, transcendent, and simply beautiful to behold.
He is a graduate of the University of Alberta (MFA 1999) and Pacific Northwest College of Art (BFA 1992). He has studied at the Bratislava Academy of Art (1994) and the Poznañ Academy of Art (1995). He has presented one-person exhibitions at Brookhaven College, Dallas, Texas (2007); the Salt Lake Art Center (2001); Illinois State University (1999); the Szynkiewicz Museum in Poznañ, Poland (1996). Recent juried print competitions that include his work have been the Boston Printmakers (2007); the 7th Bharat Bhavan International Biennial Print Art, New Delhi, India (2006); and the Lujubljana International Printmaking Exhibition, Slovania (1999). His prints are in the collections of University of Hawaii at Hilo; the Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Graphic Center in the Portland Art Museum; and the University of Alberta Museum and Collection, Edmonton, Canada. In the fall of 2010 he was an Artist-in-Residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Yamamoto earned tenure at Utah State University (2000-2006) and taught at the University of Delaware (2006-2007) before coming to UTK.