This year, a distinguished panel of judges chose "OZ" Keisuke Yamaguchi as the 2016 Ronin| Globus Artist-in-Residence based on his striking paintings. The judges made their decision based on three criteria: artistic excellence, clarity of concept, and originality in interpretation of theme. As Yamaguchi returns to Japan, Ronin Gallery reflects on this program's great success in its inaugural year: Yamaguchi's work has received an incredible response and all exhibited pieces were sold. The exhibition raised over $7,500 for the Japan Society's Japan Earthquake Relief Fund and Ronin Gallery could not be more excited to present new works by Yamaguchi this fall.
Over the course of his residency this July, Yamaguchi completed multiple live paintings throughout New York. During his Ronin Gallery performance, guests had the opportunity to not only meet the artist, but also to learn more about his process. As he worked, he revealed the inspired improvisation and careful skill that harmonize in each of his works. He also completed live paintings while spending time on Fire Island with Stephen Globus and during his time in upstate New York with the Libertson family.
Keisuke Yamaguchi’s work blends traditional techniques with thoroughly modern imagery, considering the power of forces unseen, both natural and human. From gods of the sea to the emotional landscapes of the human heart, Yamaguchi calls upon unique and subtle qualities of Japanese culture and art to evoke the events of March 11, 2011. Born in Nagano Prefecture, Japan in 1986, Yamaguchi attended Nagano National College of Technology for Architecture in 2003. Following his graduation in 2007, he continued his education at Nagaoka Institute of Design, where he studied Architecture and the Environment. His focus has since shifted from architecture to painting. Yamaguchi has actively exhibited throughout Japan since 2007, from group shows to ten solo exhibitions. His most recent exhibitions include the solo show Oz and the international group exhibition Common, both held in Nagano. Yamaguchi often integrates process and product in his live painting performances. From the live painting Takara Ichi at the ruins of Ueda Castle in Nagano to Geppaku at Gallery Saniwa, Yamaguchi’s original technique draws and enchants crowds.
In the works exhibited in Ronin Gallery's Contemporary Talents of Japan this summer, Yamaguchi evokes the existence of things that evade the human eye. From the energy of sacred spirits to the vivid imagery of human thoughts and emotions, Yamaguchi gives form to a power quite similar to water, one without concrete form. As he states, “it inhabits everything around us, having the ability to hit us with fearful, awesome, inspiring power.”
We are so grateful for the outstanding success of the Ronin | Globus Artist-in-Residence Program in its inaugural year. We received many strong applications and selected a stunning group of finalists. For the past 40 years, Ronin Gallery has focused on bringing the best of Japanese art to the United States. In keeping with this tradition, we seek to nurture and promote the most exciting talents in contemporary Japanese art today. We are excited to welcome Keisuke Yamaguchi into the Ronin Contemporary family!
Thank you to this year’s judges—Nachi Das, Yasuko Harris, Yukie Kamiya, Mary Ann Roos, Johnny Strategy, Miwako Tezuka, and Katsura Yamaguchi—for their diligent consideration and invaluable expertise. An especially warm thank you to Stephen Globus for his collaboration in making this outstanding opportunity a reality. Without his support, ideas and friendship, this residency program would never have happened. It’s been a wonderful inaugural year and we look forward to many more years to come.