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After Tokyo Olympics, Artist Seitaro Yamazaki Sets Eyes On The World

A person sees the world, but an artist sees only inspiration. It is hard to find an artist more curious and creative about the world around and everything within it, than Seitaro Yamazaki. The Japanese conceptual artist has the exceptional talent of converting even the most mundane aspects of life into a canvas of his creativity.

Born in Japan in 1982, Seitaro Yamazaki had a well-established career as a designer. But he always yearned to do more – something to satiate his inner artist. Thus, after 15 years, he began a journey of becoming one of the most talented conceptual artists in Japan. The artist specializes in the art styles of mixed media, Suibokuga, and Ikebana. But what Seitaro really excels at is his ink-style artworks, including ink-based flower arrangements.

The psyche of Seitaro Yamazaki is as complex as his artworks. In his own words, Seitaro seeks the “new absolutes within relativity”, picking elements that were forsaken in the evolutionary process. In simpler words, the artist seeks to take the most mundane of objects/concepts, and turn them into something awe-inspiring. Take, for example, his “Sheet Music For Blank Space” where he takes the simple staff notation used in western music and turned it into a thoughtful piece of music. The “UNIT FOR Y-AXIS”, one of his more popular works, is about the x, y, and z-axis that is so fundamental to the various aspects of human life yet rarely thought about.

The world of conceptual and abstract art is, frankly, a world apart from this mortal realm of ours. Unlike painting and sculpting, where the final result is all that matters, conceptual art is primarily about the concept. A bad view could be turned into a good painting, but a bad idea couldn’t be turned into good conceptual art. In the modern world, where we are accustomed to even the most absurd ideas being shared on the internet, surprising the senses has become a tougher job than it ever was. Like most conceptual artists, Seitaro recognizes these challenges. This is why he often turns towards nature, that inexhaustible source of wonders and awe.

Born and raised in Japan, Seitaro was influenced by the Shinto religion and its numerous gods that revolve around the various forces of nature. This provoked curiosity in him regarding nature and its innumerable aspects. Seitaro recognizes the fundamental, all-encompassing beauty of nature. He learned the traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement and the Indian art of ink painting to realize his understanding of nature and humanity’s relationship with it.

But perhaps the biggest responsibility Seitaro ever faced is the one he is carrying right now. He serves as the creative advisor for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. While the mega sporting event has shifted to 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic, Seitaro’s job is far from done. As the creative advisor, he is one of the hands that would sculpt the creative and artistic aspects of the Tokyo Olympics. Seitaro also serves on the Paralympic Organization Committee, again contributing his artistic vision and expertise to the planning committee.

Over the years, Seitaro has done exhibitions and installations across the world. He has done solo exhibitions at J-Collabo in New York (2019), at the 2018 Mono Japan event in Amsterdam, as well as many others within Japan. He has also been installed at Camden Image Gallery in London (2020) and Nagasaki Holland Village (2019). His ingenious and innovative talent has made him a recipient of numerous accolades, like the winner of the Annual Group Exhibition and Exhibition by J-Collabo (2018) and 14th Arte Laguana Prize by Espronceda (2020). Recently, he was chosen as one of the 18 (and the only Asian) artists by the famed YICCA for 2021. Seitaro Yamazaki is an established artist in Japan, but his journey to woo the world has only begun. And given his exquisite spirit and passion, it doesn’t seem to slow down anytime soon.