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Yusuke Asai Biography

Yusuke Asai was born in 1981, Tokyo, Japan. He currently lives and works in Kumamoto, Japan.

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Yusuke Asai never stops drawing using everything before him as materials for his work. For example, dirt and water gathered from locations of his site-specific work are used for his “mud paintings,” marker drawings on masking tape that has been pasted onto walls like flourishing flora are employed in his “masking plants”, and white sheet material used for road marking lines are burned onto streets to create Shokubutsu ni Natta Hakusen(white lines that transformed into vegetation. These are all methods the artist uses to “draw.” While Asai’s works are very distinctive, they do not give an impression of having been produced in a complicated manner. This is because his works are a continuation of his daily act of drawing, unrestricted by time, places or materials. This very lack of constraints in the places he draws and the materials he uses may be the driving force that has been leading Asai to select methods for creating works that can only be made on specific sites.

In Japan and abroad, Asai has created numerous works by comprehending spaces, accepting the features that come with a certain location, and letting his hands move naturally, as if they were dictated only by the correlation between the materials he uses and his work sites. Spread across various locations, the artist’s works connect his past presence at each site, and continue to exist in the relationships and feelings woven through these locations. If one were to consider the material permanence of Asai’s works, his use of mud that can be washed away with water and application of masking tape that can easily be peeled off would seem incongruous. However, the memories and the act of drawing within each of his works, which have accepted their respective fates of eventual disappearance or continued existence, remain stronger than any material.

Asai reconfirmed his creation process through his huge mud painting installtion measuring 5m in height and 34m in length that was on display at the Rice Gallery in Houston, Texas, as his first overseas solo exhibition titled yamatane (2014). In addition, the artist says that he acquired a taste for and grasped the sense of sculpting spaces at Rokko (Rokko meets Art 2014, Hyo-go, Japan), where he created a canvas in the air with masking tape by observing and understanding the spaces that appeared between branches at a botanical garden, which was the site of his installation. In his solo exhibition Creating Here (2014) at ARATANIURANO, Asai successfully integrated all of his experiences and skills in a white cube setting. He created an installation with masking tape and blue ink that occupied the gallery’s empty space--instead of using only the walls.

Spaces that appear through works like “masking plants” where drawings actually branch into areas beyond the confines of gallery walls are nest-like environments for Asai. They can be considered as a realization of “places where the artist can become engrossed in the act of drawing.” Asai’s works that have been generated through different methods are starting to overlap with his desire towards “drawing,” which has been cumulating inside of him. The next development in the environment he has been pursuing is about to burgeon.

Beside yamatane Rice Gallery, Houston, Texas (2014), and Rokko meets Art Hyo-go, Japan (2012, 2014), Yusuke Asai has exhibited inside and outside of Japan including Setouchi Triennale 2013, Inujima, Okayama, Japan (2013), MOT Collection -Special Exhibition | Yusuke Asai, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (2011), Wall Art Festival and Sujata Village, Bihar, India (2010-2013). Asai’s work can be found in the collection of Ohara Museum, Okayama, Japan, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan, Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, Kumamoto, Japan, The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Japan and MONBLANC, Tokyo, Japan.

Yusuke Asai In Related Press

The Flickering of Japan's Contemporary Art Related Press The Flickering of Japan's Contemporary Art 25 March 2015, Japan Times

Art used to be about what you could see, but now, thanks to a more “conceptual” approach, it is often about what cannot be seen. Except the artist still has to demonstrate in some way what it is that can’t be seen — in other words, to make it visible. This is the paradox that underlies “Constellations: Practices...

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Yusuke Asai At Arataniurano Related Press Yusuke Asai At Arataniurano 15 December 2014, Designboom / 2 December 2014

Although he typically chooses to work with organic mediums like mud, japanese artist yusuke asai continues his practice of large-scale, painted installations with paper and marker at arataniurano gallery in tokyo. from now until december 20th, 2015, asai suspends ‘creating here’ above visitors to the art space.

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