IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Yuriko Yamaguchi


IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, curated by Eleana Del Rio

This show features the work of ten Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience. Curator Eleana Del Rio grouped these artists together because they share a common interest in pictorial narrative. They all invite the viewer to interact with the imagery and engage with the work in a manner that allows two narratives—both the artist’s and the viewer’s—to play out over time.

Featuring David Bailin, Eric Beltz, Shay Bredimus, Wes Christensen(1949-2015), Josh Dorman, Tim Lowly, Michelle Muldrow, Len Paschoal, Fred Stonehouse, and Yuriko Yamaguchi

November 3 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 3, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #56: Yuriko Yamaguchi


Yuriko Yamaguchi photograph by Carol Harrison

1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
Good space and good lighting is the most important environment for my work.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio?
Usually I start my day with a 45 minutes walk in the back yard park, Wolf Trap National Park.  After having breakfast, I start working in my studio.  This is my daily routine.

3. What is your preferred medium?  Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I use stainless steel wire, resin, gampi paper pulp, synthetic fabric, cotton cord, etc.

Most of the time I work on one project; however, occasionally two pieces.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio?
While walking in the morning I observe the natural world- growing mushrooms, changing color on leaves, living trees and dead trees, stream, pond, rock, weed and wild flowers, light and shadow etc.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of method”?
I am interested in discovering in general.  I am interested in discovering my own way to make things instead of the traditional way of making things.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
I focused the interconnectedness between blood vein and cabbage vein when I was working on “Coming #2”.   I striped off a piece of leaf from a cabbage only to retain the part of vein for some. I sometimes used it the way it was.  After making a rubber mold of pieces of cabbage leaf, I hand cast in pigmented resin.  In order to emphasize the vein texture, I discovered the effectiveness of use of red LED light behind resin pieces.  Instead of having an image of certain things in my head, I connect pieces of hand cast resin pieces until I feel right.  The work came to me.

“Dale Lindman & Robert Maki” Robert Maki

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios along with  images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Dale Lindman & Robert Maki” opens April 4, 2015 and runs through May 2, 2015.

Artist Interview #5: Robert Maki

Robert Maki 4_4_2015

1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I have been a full time artist for 45 years, however I worked at several jobs before receiving my first commission. Following graduate school I taught for two years at the UW; received an NEA fellowship in 1968; worked in a plastics shop; built harpsichords; sold some artwork and exhibited in museum and gallery shows. My first major commission project was 1971-73 at Sea-Tac Airport, followed by a combination of activities such as a Rockefeller Residency in North Carolina; invitations for residencies at universities; site projects; GSA sculpture award; Senior NEA Fellowship for works on paper; gallery sales, grants, public and private commissions. As well my wife has worked throughout the years.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

When my gallery put my name in print with established gallery artists in the 60’s shortly after completing undergraduate school at Western Washington University.

3. What are your influences?

The first ten years of my life on the road with my father, hopping freight trains, living in multiple towns up and down the Columbia River between 1938-48 is the strongest influence in my life and work, coupled with five women in my immediate family who are strong, motivated and tireless in their efforts to care for family and the greater whole.  In my youth, mechanical drawing, a 1950’s Life magazine article on Pollack’s dripping paint and Albers’ Homage to a Square, WWII environment and exposure to American and European masters including artist such a Winslow Homer and Casper Friedrich in Jr High Humanities class.  Simultaneously a sculpture of a warped contour made from plastic string by the Constructivist artist Pevsner or Gabo, which lodged in my brain, surfacing years later, to become a critical theme in my wall constructions and drawings in the nature of ambiguous non-coplanar surfaces and voids articulating contour as idea.

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

My studios have always been large to accommodate sculpture fabrication, equipment storage, exhibition area and drawing space. In my drawing space is a large work table located for direct southern exposure and use of daylight via large rollup doors facing south and west, and large windows. I also use well balanced shop fluorescents and spots. Working outside in natural light and shadow has always been integral to my work so large roll up doors offer access to outdoor work areas.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

A typical day involves writing, working in the sketchbook, coffee at a small store on the beach and maintaining my three acre sculpture garden. Drawing time is usually combined with staging work and sculpture fabrication. I don’t listen to music, but instead prefer ambient sounds of my surrounding environment, process, equipment, birds, dog barks, neighbor cows mooing, coyotes yipping or howling, eagles calling,  Lake Union Air flying overhead.

"Etruria Column", 2005, stainless steel, 144"  x 14" (from Robert's sculpture garden)

In Robert’s sculpture garden: “Etruria Column”, 2005, stainless steel, 144″ x 14″ (a variation of a concept first done in 1967)

6. What is your preferred medium?  Do you work on one project at a time or several?

My works on paper are usually on vellum using graphite, dry pigments and acrylics, freehand fashion. Application techniques and process both messy and/or precise are intuitive, fluid, accidental and unexpected with intention.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

I work in a series. Once a piece is complete I don’t make changes or adjustments.  I like an oblique approach, looking to understand something, discover what that something is and allowing for organic evolution. I basically learn later what I have done.  Two pleasures: the process and the residue and a diary that marks time.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

Outside of the studio I head to the beach or wilderness with my dog Jasper. I plant trees and care for my property and outdoor sculpture garden. I’m also VP of nonprofit Wild Love Preserve, who’s mission is protect and preserve our iconic native wild horses in a collaborative and sustainable manner, so I travel regularly to the wilds of Central Idaho with my daughter and our dogs to work on and off the range with Idaho’s majestic wild horses. This work is life fulfilling in so many ways and perfectly compliments my studio activities.