Artist Talk: Akira Yamaguchi in conversation with Tim Clark

October 5, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Daiwa Foundation Japan House
Outer Cir
Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Artist Talk: Akira Yamaguchi in conversation with Tim Clark @ Daiwa Foundation Japan House | England | United Kingdom

This event part is part of the exhibition: Resonating Surfaces by Akira Yamaguchi

This exhibition is held in collaboration with Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo

3-30 October 2018, Monday–Friday 9.30am–5pm, Admission free

Private View: Tuesday 2 October 2018, 6-8pm, Admission free, booking essential

Akira Yamaguchi, in his work, borrows spatial and stylistic references of traditional Japanese painting styles yamato-e and ukiyo-e, combining them with elements of modem and contemporary architecture to illustrate episodes of contemporary daily life, for example the hectic life led by salarymen in big cities.

The paintings exhibited at the Daiwa Foundation Japan House Gallery present a new development within Yamaguchi’s practice, which has been influenced by the Kano school painters of the Muromachi period. Twisting the classical idea of “oil on canvas”, Yamaguchi has added pure linseed oil to his paintings; the shimmer of the oil painted on the canvas evokes the materiality of golden elements used in art forms such as gold paint.

Yamaguchi and Tim Clark, head of the Japanese section in the Asia Department, British Museum, and a specialist in ukiyo-e, will discuss the artist’s influences and his attempt to resolve the contradiction of being a painter inheriting the legacy of classical Japanese art, but also trained at art school to follow Western (oil-based) painting techniques.


Akira Yamaguchi (b. 1969, Tokyo) graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduate School (Painting Department) with an MA in Oil Painting in 1996. Besides his bird’s eye view paintings of cities or battlefields, he traverses a variety of methods of expression including sculpture, manga and installation. His major solo exhibitions include “TOKIORE(I)MIX” (Maison Hermès 8F Le Forum, Tokyo) and “Yamaguchi Akira: Stepping Back to Seek the Underneath” (Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito) amongst others. In 2012, he dedicated a fusuma painting to Shoin of Yorin-an, Byodo-in Temple, Kyoto, and the work was placed on special public view. He has contributed public artworks in several locations including Narita International Airport, on Tokyo’s Fukutoshin Line at Nishi-Waseda station, and at Fujisan World Heritage Center in Yamanashi Prefecture. He has also created illustrative work and cover art for a variety of serialized newspaper stories, novels and so forth, continuing his prolific practice across a broad range of fields.

In 2013, his book Hen-na Nihon Bijutsushi won the 12th Kobayashi Hideo Award.

Tim Clark is the Head of the Japanese section in the Department of Asia at the British Museum.

Friday 5 October 2018,
followed by a drinks reception until 8pm
Admission free, booking essential

Daiwa Foundation Japan House
13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle
London NW1 4QP

Image: Orbital, Landolt-Ring, 2016, sumi (Japanese ink) [detail], oil on canvas. Photo: OTANI Ichiro ©YAMAGUCHI Akira, Courtesy of Mizuma Art Gallery