Yosuke Amemiya

For this very special campaign we decided to collaborate with Japanese artist Yosuke Amemiya.
His apples remind us that many times nothing is what it seems. Although they seem to melt and look soft, Amemiya's sculptures are made of solid wood.
The same goes for our sneakers, whose material is not what it seems, as it is actually made from discarded apples.

"My work has a peculiar structure, I see it like hitting the gas and the brakes at the same time. From the transcendental technique of the sculpting to the unique speaking style in the performances.”
Yosuke Amemiya

Tell us about yourself, who’s Yosuke Amemiya?

I was born in 1975 in Ibaraki, Japan. I recently moved back to Japan, before that, I’ve lived in Amsterdam and Berlin (2011-2022).

My works are in various expressions, like sculpture, performance, drawing, video installation etc. I have also been running a project since 2014. It will take 1300 years in total and it will be translated to Spanish soon. My work has a peculiar structure, I see it like hitting the gas and the brakes at the same time. From the transcendental technique of the sculpting to the unique speaking style in the performances.

I aim to create artwork that would prompt the audience to reconsider the “contemporary” and “art”. It would do so by offering an art appreciation experience that is like being transferred to the other topological spaces before realizing it.

How did you start your career as an artist and how has it evolved to where you are now?

I tried various mediums when I was an art student. My debut work was “A Frog Simulates” in 1999. In this exhibition, you make an effort to see things but as you do so less and less you can see. After that, I made a series of self-imitations. I wanted to capture the world on a bigger scale and developed the idea into a video installation that was about a space and the space in the mirror. This was the beginning of the apple sculpture (it was one of the materials in the exhibition). I involved myself in the video installation later, it also made a form of performance. Then the field moved to “the world” and “future”. The fruit sculpture is only about 20% of my whole work but it’s important and the longest series in my career.

What would you say are the main interests of your artistic practice? What inspires you?

I’m always inspired by “the nature includes human beings”. It is for the same reason that I restarted the series of apple sculptures in 2011 when I realized ‘the sizes, patterns, and colors differ depending on how it’s grown even if they are the same species. I was intrigued that I can see people’s life by observing the surface of the apples. Moreover, these differences lead me to think of “universality” as the senses of “the ordinal apple” are very different from people.

You are now focused on your fruit series and, above all, on apples, what is the concept behind it?

Maybe you can see this drawing. This is a manuscript of the lecture performance in 2018. The right side is how the apples are grown in Japan and the left side is the typical one in Europe. My interest is the “people’s life” if I can say in other words, “civilization”. It is not just the interest in the apple, instead it is about the “humanity”.

Why did you choose such a robust material as wood to represent these melting apples?

I used to use plastic and resin. These materials are actually suitable to make fruits since modeling is similar to how the fruits grow. But I started to use the wood in 2014 when I moved to Germany. I make base coating 36 times so I might be able to obtain the “swollen figure” of the fruits.


We have seen that sculpture is not your only means of expression, what other media do you use?

I do performance, video installation, and other projects.

Does your artistic practice help you in your personal life? In which way?

Even the artists are required to be a good leader or a good manager these days. These positions come with the planning of achievements or goals. I think one of the good aspects of art is you can decide the meaning of the goal, which is not comparable with others. It is very important in one's life. I don’t think it's a good life to compare your cars or houses with others’.

Where can we see your works exhibited?

Currently, the exhibitions are only in Japan. There are some offers from the UK and China, I think you will be able to see my works there in the near future.

What are the next steps in your artistic career? What's coming up in the future?

I don't live my life based on the “step up system”. But what I’d like to do next is find an opportunity to be involved in the agriculture of apples. To make an apple “forged by agriculture”.


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