Face by Ai Yamamoto

Ai Yamamoto

Shiga Prefecture, Japan | b. 1985

Ai Yamamoto works primarily in ceramics, the medium that she says she can “really put her heart into.” Upon her arrival at the studio, Atelier Yamanami, every day, she requests clay, and proceeds with portraits of her fellow artists and the studio staff. Each dynamic, hand-built structure begins with a round, flat base, which becomes a face. As she adds features, the structure expands. She adds strands of hair, which extend up and out until the base is entirely covered and the object grows, mysteriously, sensually, into rolling curves, peaks and valleys.

Internationally renowned, Atelier Yamanami was founded in 1986 as the Yamanami Welfare Workshop. It has grown into a highly developed studio supporting the creativity of Disabled artists through a diverse range of media: clay and paintings, embroidery and fiber arts, expressive movement and paper craft.

More Information

Face, № 1

Year: 2014

Medium: Clay

Dimensions (in): 14.6×14.2×14.2

Courtesy of Atelier Yamanami

ArtPrize Vote Code: 68589

The work is a clay sculpture, complex in form. The texture of the work is bumpy, appearing as if it was created by layering many small, individual pieces of clay on top of each other. The work, which is narrower at the bottom, rises up in three directions with each coming to a point at the top. These three sections resemble waves or shark fins. The color of the sculpture ranges from dark gray and black to deep yellow. The lower front portion of the sculpture is colored dark, with a gradient towards yellow as you move towards its top. The back of the sculpture is lighter in color.

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Face, № 10

Year: 2016

Medium: Clay

Dimensions (in): 13.6×13.8×13.4

Courtesy of Atelier Yamanami

The work is a clay sculpture, complex in form, with variations of gray throughout. The texture of the work is bumpy, appearing as if it was created by layering many small, individual pieces of clay on top of each other. There are 2 large wave-like shapes that are connected at the bottom of the object but then fan out in different directions. This leaves gaps toward the middle of the sculpture. Both waves slump noticeably to opposite sides. The smaller of the two waves has a gap at the middle edge, where gravity seems to have pulled it downward.

Audio Description