Yuka Oyama (*1974) is a Japanese-German artist who lived in four different countries before settling in Berlin in 2003. Oyama’s cross-disciplinary artworks include wearable sculpture, jewellery, performance, video and photography. By exploring the power and emotion of objects on identity and their meaning in daily life, her works combine human bodies and abstract sculptural objects of adornment. Through fieldwork, workshops, public interventions, choreographic experiments, and performance, Oyama’s work is participatory to spark the imagination and generate connections between individuals. By creating life-sized wearable sculptural objects based on individual stories from participants, the pieces are presented by them in a theatrical setting, where they transform into conceptual narratives made of living sculptures. Oyama’s work creates a physical dialogue between life and art, strong evocative images of cryptic ‘hybrids’.

Yuka Oyama (*1974) is a Japanese-German artist who lived in four different countries before settling in Berlin in 2003. Oyama’s cross-disciplinary artworks include wearable sculpture, jewellery, performance, video and photography. By exploring the power and emotion of objects on identity and their meaning in daily life, her works combine human bodies and abstract sculptural objects of adornment. Through fieldwork, workshops, public interventions, choreographic experiments, and performance, Oyama’s work is participatory to spark the imagination and generate connections between individuals. By creating life-sized wearable sculptural objects based on individual stories from participants, the pieces are presented by them in a theatrical setting, where they transform into conceptual narratives made of living sculptures. Oyama’s work creates a physical dialogue between life and art, strong evocative images of cryptic ‘hybrids’.

In her work series Encapsulation Suits (2012-2017), Oyama investigated how a person and an object can activate each other both physically and psychologically. The series examines how the sentient and dynamic inner life of objects that we project onto them can be expressed through sculptures when they are set in motion. In Cleaning Samurai (2014), various utility cleaning objects inspired the artist to create living sculptures to point out sensitive topics such as fair delegation of domestic work, fixed gender roles, and the prioritization of functionality over emotion. With Helpers Changing Homes (2018), Oyama, often confronted with the question: ‘Where or what is home?’ explores the implication of nomadism on a person’s sense of belonging and their definition of home. For this project Oyama collaborated with interviewees to create wearable sculptures, which were then presented in a public, documented procession. Oyama’s actual series Six Teens’ SurvivaBall Home Suits explores youths’ vision of home with transient lives, who have been brought up in alternative family structures.

BIO

Oyama obtained her BFA Jewelry at Rhode Island School of Design, RI, USA; MFA Sculpture and Art Jewellery from Munich Art Academy, Munich, Germany; PhD in Art and Craft from Oslo National Academy of Arts, Oslo, Norway. She is currently Professor of Jewellery Art at the Academy of Design & Crafts (HDK), at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Yuka Oyama has exhibited at numerous international galleries, museums and prominent biennales for both contemporary art, and contemporary art jewellery. Recent group exhibitions include: The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington (2018); Musee d’Art modern de la Ville de Paris, Paris (2017); Easy!Upstream Gallery, Munich (2016); Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York (2015); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Zentrum für Medien und Technologie, Karlsruhe; Pinakothek der Moderne, München. Solo exhibitions at the Akademirommet, Oslo (2016); Receptions Gallery, Oslo (2016); Oslo Kustforenning, Oslo (2015); the SPACES Gallery, Cleveland (2013).

<Text: Katia Hermann>