Spotlight: Japanese Conceptual Artist Seitaro Yamazaki Transforms the Objects of Our Time Into Eerie Fossils

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About the Artist: Tokyo-based conceptual artist Seitaro Yamazaki (b. 1982) worked as a designer for 15 years before he began creating artworks. His interdisciplinary practice crosses a variety of mediums, from graphics and sculptures to urban and architectural design. Yamazaki is the founder and director of Seitaro Design, Inc., and has served as the creative advisor for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Why We Like It: Yamazaki’s practice asks viewers to reconsider that which we perceive as absolute—from the permanence of societal structures to what we value and even consume. His most recent series, “Fossils From the Future,” are sculptures of everyday objects and luxury goods, from a bag of Lay’s potato chips to Nike Air Jordans, that the artist transforms into artifacts of the past. Currently, these works are on view in an online exhibition with Seitaro Design. Yamazaki makes these relic-like, paint-coated sculptures by casting sand and transparent acrylic resin through 3-D printing modeling data. These sculptures feel encrusted with the patinas of millennia while the resin acts almost like amber, giving the sense of seeing our current moment strangely frozen. 

According to the Artist: “My biggest challenge is to pursue a timeless universal beauty. I doubt relative values and try to seek the absolute from the relative values. This is a very difficult challenge yet a goal that I will continue to pursue as an artist.” 

See works by the artist below.

Seitaro Yamazaki. Courtesy of the artist.

Seitaro Yamazaki, (2021). Courtesy of the artist.

Seitaro Yamazaki. Courtesy of the artist.

Seitaro Yamazaki, (2022). Courtesy of the artist.

Seitaro Yamazaki. Courtesy of the artist.

Seitaro Yamazaki, (2022). Courtesy of the artist.

Seitaro Yamazaki. Courtesy of the artist.

Seitaro Yamazaki, (2022). Courtesy of the artist.

Seitaro Yamazaki, Nike Air Jordan 1. Courtesy of the artist.

Seitaro Yamazaki, (2021). Courtesy of the artist.

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