Koichi Yamamoto is an artist who merges traditional and contemporary techniques so as to develop unique and innovative approaches to the language of printmaking. (Read more...)
His prints explore issues of the sublime, memory, and atmosphere. Koichi has worked at many scales, from small and meticulously engraved copper plates to large monotypes. Koichi 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.
Koichi Yamamoto worked with UB students and collaborators at Mirabo Press in the creation of intaglio-printed kites that were flown in several locations on and off campus. In addition, created an edition of intaglios at Mirabo Press, a new printmaking studio owned and operated by three UB alums.
Yamamoto's 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.
The purpose of bringing Yamamoto to UB was to engage our students in dialogue with an artist whose practice of visual art forms community, involves play, and requires outstanding craftsmanship. Koichi worked with a small group of 6-8 students on a daily basis both in and out of the classroom studio. These students participated in all phases of the project development, learning and practicing their new skills. They observed as Yamamoto drew elaborate images on large sheets of lexan (similar to plexiglas) using a variety of tools. Next, students assisted as the plates were inked, hand-wiped and printed on kozo paper. After the prints dried a few days they were stretched and added to the kite frames.