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Sculpture (MA)

Yuiko Amano

About/Biography


A London-based emerging multimedia artist with a science and engineering background.

Born in 1990 to a scientist family in Tsukuba City in Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture, the artist grew up in the US city of Boulder (Colorado) and in Nara City, in the Nara prefecture of Japan.

During her second year of high school, she chose the path to science and engineering and later majored in civil engineering at an university.

After graduation, she participated in the research and development of observational instruments with data analysis and acoustic engineering. (Journal link)

This was followed by her move to London, UK, where she enrolled in The Royal College of Art to pursue a master’s degree in architecture and urban design. Now, she has embarked on a path to fine art and activated in sculpture studio to focus on her language.



Selected Exhibitions

I objectThe Freud Museum London/ From 5th March, 2021/ London, UK

WOMAN'S ESSENCE SHOW 2020 / Palazzo Velli / September 11th - 13th, 2020, Rome, Italy

THE EXTENDED BODY - MIXING CULTURES/THE LINE Contemporary Art Space/ March to April, 2020, London, UK 

​FLESH/ The Old Operating Theatre Museum/ March, 2020, London, UK

Contemporary Venice / ITSLIQUID/ December, 2019 to January, 2020, Venice, Italy

About Future / Loosenart / December, 2019, Rome, Italy   Exhibition Catalogue

Shanghai International Art Fair 2019 / November, 2019, Shanghai, China

​Strata, Planets and Vicissitudes. Solo show 2019

/August, 2019, Kyoto, Japan

Tokyo International Art Fair 2019 / June, 2019, Tokyo, Japan

 

Publication

TRENDS IN ART: INSIGHTS FOR COLLECTORS’ Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, January, 2021 


Award

MUSA Art Space ’WOMAN'S ESSENCE SHOW 2020’ awarded by ambassador of UNESCO, 2020, Rome, Italy




A central concept in her art works is mirages, or what can also be described as a fake utopia, a space plagued by issues. She sculpts the dystopian interior scenery of a delusional sphere – a representation of the mirage, which is defined as an invisible and intangible element. The sphere includes an imperialistic feudal society, with the various hierarchical systems embodied by quadrangular pyramids. The artist is also featured in the fake documentaries, reflecting on diverse social issues related to the legacy of imperialism.


Approaching matters from the perspective of a Japanese female, she expounds on the problems giving rise to friction and hatred between neighbouring countries. Starting with her country and going through political and geopolitical factors, she projects them into her works. Using experimental and interactive techniques, the artist highlights and sculpts various 'mirages' caused by the essence of imperialism introduced to her country, the effects of its heritage on contemporary society, and the accompanying principles of imperialism from a global perspective (such as capitalism, anthropocentrism, and ethnocentrism).




Chapter 1-1 — Recitation by cat (7:07)
Chapter 1-2 — Recitation by cat (6:35)
Chapter 2-1 — Recitation by cat (4:28)
Chapter 2-2 — Recitation by cat (2:41)
Chapter 3-1 — Recitation by cat (3:28)
Chapter 3-2 — Recitation by cat (5:40)
Chapter 4 — Recitation by cat (4:56)
Chapter 5-1 — Recitation by cat (7:10)
Chapter 5-2 — Recitation by cat (4:07)
Chapter 6 — Recitation by cat (5:52)
Digital book — Published on May 17, 2021
Book — A6 size books on sale at Cromwell Place

Alternative connection- I have become a cat.   


Book, Short story, Story telling, Short film, Animation


Basically, my main research themes are investigating the existence and facts of minorities, and the formation of future human beings in the context of posthumanism and the confirmation of the existence of minorities. Modern society, on a global scale, is a dystopian situation from an existing point of view, and there are many hierarchies and innumerable minorities drifting in the sphere. It can be thought of as a providence of nature, but I would like to tackle these “issues” from a deeper human perspective, and reconstruct and sculpt that mirage-like sphere. As a clue to this problem, the definition of “cyborg” advocated by Donna J. Haraway and feminism-inspired access to the human brain enable communication with the world through blood vessels, thereby considering what happens to the existence of minorities. When the cyborgs are averaged, is there a minority there?

The definition of “cyborg” is related to consciousness and unconsciousness. When our brain is incorporated into the Internet web, it is possible that “other consciousness” will replace the “ego” that originally existed. Furthermore, even in the scientific field where machine learning is rapidly developing, the time may come when AI will interfere with the human brain. If we are optimistic, we may be able to support minorities, such as those with developmental disabilities. However, it is possible that there will be a deep conflict between the “usable” and “unusable” groups of the new service. To put it in an extreme way, it is a “war between machines and humans.” Each step is very important for the development of science, but due to its narrow field of view and orderly order, scientists and science do not consider creating minorities as a result and creating a devastated future landscape. I express warnings and criticisms to the world here.


Synopsis 

An international student from Japan, "I", stays at Ms. Sax's house as he begins university. There are many cats gathering around Ms. Sax's house but, among them, "Liu's cat” is strangely attached to "I". Once “I” starts to wonder about this, the WiFi signal in his room shuts off. "I" then asks Ms. Sax to quickly fix it, but her husband tells him to use a different signal while she repairs it. "I" connects to a different WiFi using his computer and activates it as instructed but, the next morning, "I" becomes a cat. While he is becoming a "cat", "Liu's cat" does not appear. This mysterious phenomenon does not always occur, only after a certain period of time and then it occurs very suddenly. As "I" goes to Soho with university classmates, flatmates and friends he met at pubs while on holiday, he notices a secret room at the back of a bookstore in London.


Digital book here


Full Animation

Animation1/Animation2/Animation3/Animation4/Animation5/Animation6/Animation7/Animation8/Animation9/Animation10





Medium:

Book, Short story, Story telling, Short film, Animation
Globe on Ice (2021) — 237mmx237mmx125mm
Globe on Ice (2021) — 237mmx237mmx125mm
Globe on Ice (2021) — 237mmx237mmx125mm
Globe on Ice (2021) — 237mmx237mmx125mm

Medium:

Glass, Solid sand, Gold leaf

Size:

237mmx237mm
Ten-thousandth ghost 2020 — This work has been exhibited in The Old Operating Theatre, London.
Ten-thousandth ghost 2020 — This work has been exhibited in The Old Operating Theatre, London.
Ten-thousandth ghost 2020 — This work has been exhibited in The Old Operating Theatre, London.
Side ghost story
Side ghost story
stage play script

Ten-thousandth ghost 2020


Text, Microscope, Short film, Performance


This project is a series of drama pieces based on my job experience in London. The ghost story is located at a private hospital in London, where I worked from September last year to February this year, and my small flat.


Ten-thousandth ghost: 2020 

Invisible - like a GHOST: people can either feel it as a presence or an absence.. In this project I want to investigate what a ghost could be. I worked as a medical administrator at a clinic in central London which triggered my curiosity leading to this investigation. Working at the clinic felt like a stage where my daily duties and the happenings of others could be seen through an artistic lens. I viewed the patients as characters in a drama at the theatre. I was also a character but my awareness of being a character gave me another perspective. I was also part of an audience.


In this drama she constantly experienced the endless fear of being surrounded by a mass of viruses and bacteria. Already sick, she feared her illness which was amplified by paranoia and the imagined germs around her. She became suspicious of everything and consequently began to feel very unwell (Nocebo effect). An effect of the imagination? Or perhaps a real virus? It started attacking her body in reality, causing coughs, symptoms of fever, and her immune system to weaken and she believed it would take over. She therefore consulted a doctor. 


Coincidentally a big change overtook the world at the same time. Coronavirus (COVID-19), a highly infectious virus which originated in Wuhan, China, affected people all round the world.. Invisible creatures can easily create fear; it is similar to the squeaking noises of a house at midnight. 


Due to the enigma of the virus, the GHOST started infecting peoples’ minds as well. In this drama which is neither fiction nor non-fiction , she also experienced the fear of wearing a mask. The act of putting on a mask could have been more threatening than fear of the invisible; fear of being too small to see, and fear of being "invisible" (for instance, experiencing discrimination based on racial judgment). This fear might come to her and perhaps another person's bedside tonight, and whisper “You can’t do anything about it”.


Please Do Look Through the Microscope Lens.



Medium:

Text, Microscope, short film, performance
WE-ARE-THE-HIERARCHY (2019) — This work has been exhibited in Gallery Ann, Kyoto, Japan.
WE-ARE-THE-HIERARCHY (2019) — 1.2mx 2.3m
WE-ARE-THE-HIERARCHY (2019) — 1.2mx 2.3m
Miserable house and my funeral on Mars (2020) — View of the outside of the pavilion
Miserable house and my funeral on Mars (2020) — View of the inside of the pavilion

WE-ARE-THE-HIERARCHY

C-print, neon, LED, robotic sculpture

This series of works embodies the artist’s own language shown in the definition. The neon-lit pyramids vainly reflected in different mirages tell of the legacy of imperialism that the artist suspects to persist in society. The prism pyramid that emits the fake reality as a glittering light while being controlled by a machine and the lights that cannot escape the enclosed space are a sarcastic representations of what may very well become a realistic landscape in the near future.


The neon pyramid, which allows audiences to know 'reality' through the tablet screen, represents the exposure of information on the internet in modern society. Although it appears as a beautifully glowing object to the naked eye, it is revealed as having secrets when viewed through glasses reinforced with cybernetic technology and never forgiven.


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Miserable house and my funeral on Mars

Small Pavilion, Incense stick, Wind, Experimental sculpture


The project presents future working-classes’ living situation (mainly on Mars), criticises capitalism, and depicts post-space development in a dystopian world which I expressed by creating a "house model". In addition, in order to simulate how traditional culture continues in that world, I exhibited a Japanese-style funeral “ritual” as an inactive installation. 

The people living in a spaceship-like shack are immigrants to Mars. The wealthy people who crossed to Mars before them live in large, clean, futuristic, and healthy homes. The second habitants have emigrated to the newly developed city of Mars in search of the future, following the wealth class.

Life on Mars is very harsh. Dust is screened against with a silver sheet that was in the waste storage area. The people had religions and customs in their original home. They quietly perform rituals and pray in the tattered house.





Medium:

C-print, neon, LED, Robotic sculpture/Small Pavilion, Incense stick, Wind, Experimental sculpture
A view of situation (2019) — This work has been exhibited in ​Contemporary Venice, Italy.
Experience of the Alternatives (2019)
Experience of the Alternatives (2019)
Experience of the Alternatives (2019)

Experience of the Alternatives


Moving image, digital painting

This series of works represents the mirage of integration that may occur in the near future. At present, artificial intelligence development is making daily progress, especially in developed countries. In the future, humans, machines, and computers might be integrated. This series of images consists of paintings created with the use of computer code, with the characteristics of the lines specified and formulated for each image by the computer language. By looking at such images through a human lens (the eye), we could regard ourselves as cyborgs fused with artificial intelligence and eliminate the boundary between future humans and machines (including camera or recorder etc.).


It can also signify new reflections in the context of imperialism (with advanced technological systems such as artificial intelligence). For example, with the progress of machine learning, post-imperialism (as the simultaneous existence of post-humanism) might be able to build up by 'intelligence' of the new era by the decline of humanistic thinking in the humanity that built imperialism. At that point, can humans continue to be creators or play a role as artists? In this project, the artist shows a simulation from the viewpoint of artificial intelligence, assuming that a new pyramid (hierarchical ecosystem seen from the macro viewpoint) is created.


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A view of situation

Short film, Sound piece


What kind of methodology do humans use to understand a situation when they are cognizing their surroundings? In this fake documentary, I analysed environmental sounds using a method of calibration which is widely used in the field of engineering and acted as an advanced algorithm. In this context, I have also examined carefully what happens when so called ‘artificial intelligence’ is defining the circumambient medium. From another point of view, I am a storyteller of this short film, scoping the world through a lens and learning from the electrical signal. Interestingly, the information – the ‘IMAGE’ that can be captured with a small camera – is not very likely to be linked to the various types of environmental sounds. In other words, there might be even other factors in obtaining information, and the main character of this story may someday exceed human sensations. 

Supporting piece: Noise

This work is my first art piece that I challenged the sound piece at art workshop. A workshop member and I recorded everyday sounds and I composed them as "songs".


Medium:

Moving Image, Digital painting/Short film, Sound piece/Digital painting, Digital print, Coding piece
Relativity of the past future (2019) — This work has been exhibited in Loosenart, Rome, Italy.
Relativity of the past future (2019) — This work has been exhibited in Loosenart, Rome, Italy.

Relativity of the past future


Land specific art, Digital image


When thinking about the future, it must be considered when it is looked from. What people thought of as past products might be kind of a symbol of the future in a past time. I photographed some of the British Museum's collections and displayed the products in the modern landscape. The landscape might be an unimaginable future, as seen from the past, and it becomes material that helps consideration of the relativity of time (including the facts that are displayed in museums). Will the future we imagine in our time become a past story for someone?

This series of museum art was exhibited at Hampstead Heath in London.



Medium:

Land specific art, Digital image
Holes (2019) — 50cmx70cm
Holes (2019) — 50cmx70cm

Holes


Digital image

In modern society, the development of advanced technology is absolutely remarkable. However, it is thought that the problems associated with this development will become more apparent from the point of view of post-humanism. In cities, people create artificial nature and ecosystems within settlements, which can imply the dominance of technology in urban contexts. However, the artificial ecosystems can become real and act in unexpected ways in their assigned space.

 

This project undertakes a visual inspection of the relationship between high-tech precision in static spaces and intentionally placed blank spots. It comprehensively investigates and summarises changes in closed ecology due to artificial greenery, especially in residential areas. In addition, such top-down urban and regional planning may be expressed in the context of imperialist heritage. In the future, it may be possible to emerge on a social sphere surface as a technological failure.


The deliberately opened holes in precision technology may eventually turn into fictions that become serious defects in a society.



Medium:

Digital Image
Look at the Reflection - The Dream of Home (2019)
Controlling landscapes (2019)
Controlling landscapes (2019)
Controlling landscapes (2019)
Controlling landscapes (2019)
Covered by green (2019)
Covered by green (2019)
Covered by green (2019)
Covered by green (2019)

Look at the Reflection - The Dream of Home


C-type prints, instant film

This work explores the notion of success, especially as it relates to the Hong Kong dream. The artist visited the city for an urban investigation and did research, interviewing domestic workers. They are currently faced with severe social issues due to Hong Kong’s population imbalance and housing capacity. This series of photographs was taken on a Sunday morning at the Hong Kong central station. Domestic workers are not be allowed to stay in their working space (home) every single weekend. This public space, serving as a sort of extension of the domestic space, was full of domestic workers who passed the time there.


This scene illustrates the gap between the environment and their dream of home, establishing the landscape and a de facto homeland within this paradoxical conflict. Through this visual impact and the contrasts between the visible 'homeland' and half-visible ‘homeland’ (pixellated by a third person), the artist criticises the passive attitude of outsiders towards the issues of domestic workers in Hong Kong. The colour of sky blue reflects on gleaming skyscrapers, and there is muddy water running beneath the sewer covers.


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Controlling landscapes


Digital image, Short film, VR space presentation


This work is a false documentary and discussion based on a report that records my trip to the Chinese city of Shenzhen for a city survey. Today, China is developing rapidly, especially in Shenzhen, which is close to Hong Kong. In the last thirty years, Shenzhen has grown from a small fishing port to a big city that might be called the Asian Silicon Valley.


The first time I visited, I was walking down Shenzhen Boulevard and capturing images for 3D VR. Photography in this city is severely restricted and police officers monitor it in vehicles such as Segways. People had a satisfying smile, as if they were the most blessed in the world. It's completely different from the people of Tokyo and London, who have a lot of gloomy faces.


I then explored a large park and climbed a small hill. A gorgeous light-up show begins at night. I was impressed with this huge paradise city and felt a little strange. This "world", completely controlled in everything, is like a role-playing game. And I felt the nostalgia of the past in the natural debris that may have existed in places.


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Covered by green


Digital image, Travel experience


The region called Taiwan, located in the south of East Asia, is in a geopolitically complex situation. This project considers the political and regional characteristics of the area, which I investigated when I visited northern Taiwan.


Research has revealed that there are four cultures, two Chinas, and three "colours" in the area. The four cultures are aboriginal cultures of Pacific descent, Western and Christian cultures such as the Netherlands (which are similar to other Southeast Asian countries), mainly Han Chinese cultures in South China, and Japanese cultures. This is a natural situation in the history of this island. The two Chinas are red and blue, that is, communism and capitalism, and they clearly represent the history and conflict of modern postwar continental China. The three colours are Chiang Kai-shek blue (in this case, red may be in blue), green for freedom, and independent grey. This patchwork and mosaic seems to represent this area.


However, when I actually visited Taiwan, it was covered with “lime green". It's not perfect, but at the moment it may be "mostly". For example, the metal-sheet roof houses overlooking Taipei 101 drew a lime green digital pattern, and the green dominated everywhere in urban and rural areas. In the first place, “lime green" is the origin colour for Taiwan and may also be the “latest” colour. This region, swirling with contradictions in cultural identities, may end up with this distinctive colour.



Medium:

C-type prints, Instant film/Digital image, Short film, VR space presenting/Digital image, Travel experience
The Waiting Time (2019)
The Waiting Time (2020) — This work has been exhibited in Palazzo Velli, Rome, Italy.
The power of personal Authority (2019)

The Waiting Time


Sculpture (a small box-shaped theatre), photo archive

Centred on the theme of capital punishment, this work aims to explore the distortion of equality. The artist went to a police station, a court, and a prison in London and brought a chair, which represents the death penalty. Capital punishment, which can also be viewed as a legacy of imperialism, is currently banned in the EU, but it still exists in some countries, including Japan and some states in the USA. She captured each episode with a Polaroid and created a slideshow-style film. This series of photographs and film is shown slightly differently in each plot.


The film focuses on waiting for death and alludes to the execution. The subject is a female whose identity has been consumed and exploited in a storyline narrated by a man – a dogmatic icon reflecting the power of humanism. She is waiting for the inevitable destiny of becoming a corpse (a metaphorical one) in order to exchange the revival of the power, an energy that can be carved and embedded into the cornerstone of the institution. This is a performance and documentary that deals with the cross-dressing of identity.


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The power of personal authority

Instant photography, Photo archive


Currently, most of countries, including Japan, are legally regulated, and when someone commits a crime, it is common to be punishable by law. However, recently some people tend to execute 'punishment' with internet and the Information diffusing power of SNS. I randomly shot photographs of private residences in Tokyo to simulate the fake ‘personal punishment’ situation. As serious problems which associated with the ‘personal punishment’ on the Internet, fake news and the problems of false accusation can also be considered.


I took this series of photos in the Roppongi area of Tokyo. This is a randomly selected general house that has nothing to do with the incident. But I would like to see what kind of discussion will occur when I publish this photo to the public. Excessive "personal justice" can sometimes turn into incredible violence.


Medium:

Sculpture (a small box-shape theatre), Photo archive/Instant photography, Photo archive
Capitalist City: Interim City Design (2019)
“Yui-ga Dokson” Project (2020)
HAPTIC CRISIS Project (2020) — This work was exhibited at The Freud museum, London.

Capitalist City: Interim City Design


Web service, T-shirts

In a capitalist society, there is a strong connection between the formation of cities, the community of people living there, and everything related to food consumption, clothing, and residences. In this project, the artist considers the contradiction of city planning and urban fabrication in relation to a consumerist citizenry with feudal top-down thinking, something she experienced during her architecture and city design studies.


The artist registered on a drop-shipping website and designed the interim city plan with tools borrowed from fashion. She then examined the phenomenon of experiencing pseudo satisfaction through the purchase of goods, pointing out the ironic contradiction in the design with top-down thinking spreading through the grassroots activities, such as wearing close. Furthermore, this act of selling may be able to say an endless urban formative documentary.


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“Yui-ga Dokson” Project 

Web service, Wearable design, Marketing, Fabric, Trademark


The project was launched in July 2020 in Kyoto, which was locked down at that time, and started as a business in London in October. It is a charity project aimed at relief and assistance to minorities and is still underway. We are mainly working to support LGBTQ people and those who are suffering some kind of disadvantage in society due to race or gender. In addition, the philosophy of Japanese Mahayana Buddhism is applied as the underlying concept.


Statement

Ten-Joh, Ten-Ga, Yui-Ga, Dok-Son.’ (in Japanese: 天上天下唯我独尊/てんじょうてんがゆいがどくそん) are the first words spoken by Buddha in Buddhist philosophy.

This maxim, which translates to 'In this whole world, I respect only myself', is not an arrogant statement about comparing oneself to others; rather, the phrase tells us that each of us is enough and that nothing about us should be added to, changed, or diminished in any systems. We should just be ourselves.

 Buddha also states that the ideal human practice is to affirm oneself through nature/truth regardless of one’s property, status, education, health, or difference.

 In accordance with this philosophy, this label intends to support and encourage minorities, particularly those living in urban settings with physical and personal challenges, those facing racial and gender barriers, and those in crisis.

Website


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HAPTIC CRISIS Project 


Web service, Digital communication, Recipe


Statement

This text piece is an introduction to recipes that anyone can easily follow, even during lockdown. The UK has been in national lockdown since January 2021, and people have had no choice but to stay at home. However, here, problems other than virus infections can occur. The lonely situation where you can't be close to your loved ones or talk to someone in person definitely can't be good for your health. I call this the "HAPTIC CRISIS", and I insist that the problem is important and urgent. If you don't have any family or friends near you, the best thing to do is to get to know people on the Internet, make friends, order the same food from the same restaurant at the same time, and have a video chat while eating together.

 This method is inspired by the Japanese saying "同じ釡の飯を食う"/"eat steamed rice from the same pot" (a metaphorical expression for a very close relationship). I currently live in the UK, but I feel much more connected with near-strangers living in the same area than talking online with my parents and friends in Japan. Even if they are not actually in the room with me, I still need someone who can share meals with me and who lives within a few kilometres or a few tens of kilometres. England and Japan are very far apart, and I need people who are closer to me than that.


The project was launched in February 2021 in London, which was during lockdown, and is still in progress. We are considering future food and eating out culture. Is it possible for us to eat together, even if we are apart?

As the development of software applications, SNS and matching applications have become widespread, and as web communication services such as Zoom have become more diverse, so have new encounters and relationships with close people become technology-dependent. In such a situation, I would like to explore a new way of conducting a restaurant service.

If you would like to dine with strangers, please book a seat from the restaurant's website. We invite you to a new matching event.

Website





Medium:

Pattern, T-shirts/Web service, Wearable design, Marketing, Fabric, Trademark

Contemporary art curator magazine