Kentaro Yamada


Kentaro Yamada was born in Japan, raised in New Zealand and is now based in London.


Master of Fine Arts – Goldsmiths, University of London 2010-2011
Master of Fine Arts – The School of Art Institute of Chicago 2008-2009
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland 2006
Bachelor of Science, University of Auckland, NZ, 2000


2011 National Portrait Gallery, Road to 2012 Olympics commission, UK
2008 The School of Art Institute of Chicago, MFA Dean’s Scholarship, USA
2008 Share Prize, Turin, Italy finalist 2005 Elam School of Fine Arts Senior Scholarship, NZ


2011 The Face of the Shape, La Scatola Gallery, London
2011 Behind the Object, La Scotala Gallery, London, UK
2011 16-30 April, Rua Red, Dublin, Ireland
2011 9-3- April, S.A.G.S., The Woodmill, London, UK
2011 30 April, BYOB Munich, Germany
2010 23-28 June, Luck Dip, The Wood Mill, London, UK
2009 14-17 May, ART CHICAGO Art Fair, with SAIC, USA
2008 12 Dec-12 March 2009, let it be now, Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand
2008 24 July-2 Aug, Cloudland, ISEA, Singapore
2008 24 June-17 July, New Call Gallery, Auckland New Zealand
2008 2-23 July, RM103, Auckland New Zealand
2008 3-10 May, Happy Ending, Happy, Auckland NZ
2008 2-23 May, Various Artist, Film Archive, Auckland NZ
2008 10-17 March, Share Festival / Prize – March -Turin, Italy
2007 Vodafone Digital Art show, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland NZ
2007 2-31 May, Silly, Creative New Zealand (Arts Council) Auckland NZ
2007 19 Jan-3 Feb, Asian at Wheel, Gus Fisher Gallery, , Auckland NZ
2006 15-18 Mar, Next Wav Festival, Melbourne, Australia
2006 8 Jun-8 Jul, Kentaro Yamada, Window Gallery, Auckland NZ (solo)
2006 Eeny meeny, miny, moe, George Fraser, Auckland NZ
2005 10-28 Oct, TAMPOPO, RAMP Gallery, Hamilton, NZ (solo)
2005 TAMPOPO, RM103, Auckland, NZ
2005 Nothing doing, Artstation, Auckland NZ

Screenings and online

2008 15 March, Magmart, Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples, Italy
2007 AugTXT Me l8r, Houston Center of Photography, USA
2006 Rhizome – Ars Memoria: art, identity and locational memory – Online
2006 Colour Bar, Film Archive View Finer, Auckland, NZ


‘Everything Comes in Waves’

Kentaro Yamada presents a large scale light installation, arranging a series of light bulbs connected to each other by black electrical cables on the gallery floor. The bulbs pulsate in intervals, translating a human breathing pattern known as Cheyne-Stokes respiration into a motion of light. This abnormal breathing pattern occurs before one’s death. It is characterised by a period where respiration is temporarily suspended, followed by a cycle of deeper and faster breaths. Each time the breath is suspended, it is uncertain whether the cycle will continue or the subject has died.

Light is used as a symbol for life to reflect on the artist’s personal experience. He took care of a beloved person in the last months before death and witnessed the gradual decay of the body. Despite the decay and change he was observing, he recalls that there was something essential about the person that remained constant. Yamada puts the spotlight on this extreme moment – a moment so tragic, yet full of new perception and heightened awareness that it could even be suitable for comedy or satire.

Tsunami No.1-3 (42”HD), follows a similar idea. Also in this work Yamada plays with the inherent beauty of a tragic event. Three dyline prints, an old analogue printing method originally utilised for architectual prints, are displayed in the gallery. A characteristic of these blue prints is that the coloring of the paper and the ink will slowly fade with the passage of time. The artist took screenshots from news broadcasts of the Tsunami catastrophe in Japan in March 2011. The prints show a giant wave running straight towards the coast. Freezing a single moment from the video, Yamada is putting the wave under the spotlight, highlighting its inherent beauty which is completely overwhelming and beyond human control. In this work artist points out the sublime quality of a tragic event once again.

The artist and La Scatola Gallery will donate proceeds from these prints to Japan Tsunami relief funds.
Text by Francesca Zedtwitz-Arnim Special Thanks to Hendrik Schneider (Silvasilva) for Tsunami prints.


Works Available

Print: Tsunami No.1-3 (42”HD), 2011
88 cm X 50 cm, Dyline print on architectural blue print paper,
Edition of 20. The artist and La Scatola Gallery will donate proceeds from these prints to Japan Tsunami relief funds.

‘Everything Comes in Waves’, 2011
44 Household lights bulbs, electric cables, microcontroller.
This is a new installation made for the show ‘Behind the Object’.
Works can be viewed by appointment. For more information about the artist, please email us on:

Pictures by Michael Heilgemeir and Andy Matthews