Here we chat with Ayane Yamamoto, an artist whose work has an important motive. For her first International Solo Exhibition ‘Unbreakable presented by Lisa Boudet‘, Yamamoto depicts mental health struggles close to her life, symbolized through Greek mythological figure Medusa. This body of work aims to raise awareness towards mental illness, it seeks to showcase the battle towards positive mental health and other societal constraints.
Tell us about yourself and your work
I am 23 and I was born in Tokyo where I live and work. I recently graduated from the prestigious Tama Art University in Japan (where famous fashion designer Issey Miyake also graduated from).
I have a small family and my younger brother was born with developmental disabilities, so we are all very close. Development disabilities is a topic that is central in my daily life and is important to me. My work is very personal and I depict personal family scenes, in which I try to express emotions most often feelings that my handicaped brother cannot often express.
Creating for me is like organizing my feelings. I have been studying quite dark themes in the last few years, and I hope that now I can raise awareness towards these issues and bring hope for people in similar situations.
How has your style changed over time?
My style has evolved through experimentation from what originally started as a university assignment 3 years ago. I have been making drawings non-stop since then. It’s this constant practice that has helped me create flow and shapes in the more figurative works that I am creating today.
Along with developing each topic I talk about in my work, I have focused on my character’s eyes and expressing different feelings through their gaze. I am not aiming to make my characters look pretty but instead in making them convey emotions.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
It’s difficult to narrow down to only a few, but I’ve definitely been influenced by the dark atmosphere of Edvard Munch and the dystopian universe of Tetsuya Ishida.
What is your favorite medium?
My favorite medium is oil paint with a matte texture.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I love Japanese science fiction television series such as Ultraman, in which I enjoy the shapes and forms of the characters and sets. I am also really interested in history and more specifically in Greek Mythology which I find fascinating. Another inspiration for my work has been studying developmental disabilities and developmental psychology, these are topics that are very close to my heart.
What are your future plans?
I am working on my next exhibition and a few group shows and I also would like to experiment with various mediums beyond painting. This first solo exhibition has opened a lot of opportunities that I am excited to explore!
Visit ‘Unbreakable’ by Ayane Yamamoto, presented by Lisa Boudet
9 July – 14 July 2022
7 rue Saint-Claude Paris, France
You can follow the artist via her Instagram account @ayane_yamamoto_