I had my solo exhibition in Galerie Pleiku in Berlin, Germany 13.8 - 24.8.2019. It was my first solo exhibition outside of Finland. The concept was “CUTE”. I created animal sculptures from wood and ceramic. My animal figures are described “cute, innocent and humorous”. Finnish design, illustration, art & cartoon have inspired me for 12 years during my studying and art working in Finland. Similarly, the Japanese Manga, Anime and Yoshitomo Nara´s Neo-pop art have also strongly influenced on my artistic language. Through the exhibition I emphasised the power of cuteness in the contemporary culture as my way of mixture between Japanese cuteness “Kawaii” and Finnish cuteness “SÖPÖ”. Happily an exhibition visitor commented “CUTE exhibition is very therapeutic. I would love to spread the word and let more people know”.
Another theme was to break the boundary of art, design and craft. I have thought that they are equal for the concept CUTE. The Finnish way of wool socks 🧦 knitting inspired the combination of wool knitting T-shirts and ceramic animal of Panda. The work “Panda friends wearing various T-shirts” went beyond those categories softly and flexibly under the sky of Berlin!
2018 Galleria Becker
I had my solo exhibition in Galleria Becker in Jyväskylä, Finland 26.1 - 14.2.2018. The concept of exhibition was “Innocent”. When you see animals in a forest, you would feel a pure nature. The pure nature of animal describes innocence to you. Innocence is the origin of feelings. It includes freshness, gentleness, loyalness, calm and cuteness. The world of innocent animals narrates and shows those feelings to exhibition visitors. I showed a large animal sculpture “Penguin mom & baby” (152cm high) , 11 wood animal sculptures, 8 ceramic animal sculptures and 4 animal wood block prints. The director of Galleria Becker Tuija Ollikainen told that there were 886 visitors and the amount was three times more than the average of the other exhibitions in Galleria Becker.
Photo : Ayana Palander
Wood, house paint, oil color / 59 x 23 x 22 cm / 2018
2017 Auran Galleria
I had my exhibition in Auran Galleria in Turku, Finland 28.11 - 17.12.2017. The concept was “Animals”. When I was 4 - 6 years old, I was making animal sculptures with clay everyday. My father gave me photo books of animals and our family visited zoo to watch animals especially Panda, penguin white bear, monkeys etc. Animal photo books and to watch animals in Zoo were the first inspiration for me to create animal sculptures. Though I made sculptures of human mainly in art school, I reflected my childhood that I started to create art as animal sculptures. In the exhibition I showed the art work “Walking cat with Katja´s T-shirts” that was cooperated with Katja Tukiainen and 13 wood sculptures and 10 ceramic sculptures. I also painted pink dots and Panda face with house paint on the wall as one type of my printmaking technique. It was a wonderful show so that many Turku people visited and watched from windows the show.
Wood, house paint, oil color / 30 x 14 x 12 cm / 2017
Wood, house paint, oil color / 55 x 24 x 23 cm / 2017
2016 Galleria AARNI
I had my solo exhibition in Galleria AARNI in Espoo, Finland 24.11 - 18.12.2016. For the exhibition I created a large animal wood sculpture "Panda papa & child" that is 160 cm high and 400 kg. My intention was to create the animal sculptures to give the sense of touch and happiness. The exhibition included my "Art for children" theme. Touching and hugging the panda sculpture gave children a sense of participation. It meant that the exhibition was for all the family members. So I wanted to bring art to all the individuals for “Social inclusion” through my art. After the exhibition I donated the sculpture “Panda papa & child" to children´s department in Sello library in Espoo as a public art.
2016 Annantalo gallery
I had my solo exhibition in Annantalo gallery in Helsinki, Finland 1.4 - 8.5.2016. Anntantalo is the children´s culture centre in the city centre of Helsinki.
In the gallery I showed animal wood sculptures for children to touch and hug. The exhibition theme was “Art for Children”. I put one large animal wood sculpture (130 cm high) and five middle sized sculpture (50cm high) on the gallery floor directly. The intention of exhibition is to give children the sense of touch & hug on art works and many children with family and many children´s groups from schools and day care centers visited the exhibition and touched sculptures.
In the exhibition I also intended the children’s participation in the exhibition as a workshop. On the opening day of exhibition I made the workshop “Lets´make a pink room“. Before the workshop I prepared to paint 15 big dots (100 cm, 50cm and 30 cm) on the gallery wall in Annantalo. And I also prepared about 2000 pink dot stickers for white wall in the gallery. On the opening day I asked children to put stickers as much as they wanted. After the workshop the white gallery space will be turned into Pink room by children´s hands.
It was a very successful exhibition. It was so popular and the Finnish largest newspaper Helsingin Samomat inteviewed me for the exhibition.
Photo : Mauri Tahvonen
2015 Malmitalo Gallery
I had my solo exhibition in Malmitalo gallery in Helsinki, Finland 22.10 – 14.11.2015 for all the generations between children and old people. The exhibition theme is “Beyond the generation”. Malmitalo is a cultural center in Northeast Helsinki, that has the library, cinema, theater, art and cultural courses. So my purpose was to give small happiness to all the generations who visited Malmitalo through my artworks. I believed that happy feeling went beyond the age and cultural background.
I was interested in the relationship between contemporary art and people. I thought that the distance between them was far. German contemporary artist & sculptor Joseph Beuys told “Everyone is an artist” and made art activity for society. I empathized with him and had a mind of “Art for society”.
The exhibition was well accepted by people in the northeast Helsinki and south Vantaa. Malmitalo gallery got more than 2300 visitors (automatic visitor count was 4600) and that was the visitor record of gallery's history. After the exhibition I donated the large sculptue to Helsinki Rudolf Steiner School in November 2015 to give children small happiness and joy to touch.
2015 MUU Kaapeli gallery
I had my solo exhibition “Carving in Pink Dots” in MUU Kaapeli (MUU Cable) gallery at Cable Factory in Helsinki, Finland 31.7 - 6.9.2015. I was interested in the relationship between contemporary art and ordinary people. I thought that the distance between them was still far. So I would like to shorten this distance through the exhibition. It was an experimental exhibition of participation and art performance in the gallery space through 2 art projects. One was Pink dot project and another was Carving project.
In the Pink Dot project I painted 45 pink dots with wall paint on the walls of gallery. The sizes of pink dots are 110 cm, 55cm, 30cm, 20cm. And I prepared 1000 pink dot stickers for exhibition visitors. I asked them to put Pink Dot stickers on the wall in the gallery to participate in my exhibition. Many people join in putting pink dot stickers on the wall. It was a nice communication between contemporary art and people.
In the Carving project I made a large animal wood sculpture “Panda mom & child” (158 cm high) in the gallery space of MUU Kaapeli to show the process of wood carving during exhibition period as art performance. The intention was to make the distance between contemporary art and people closer by showing the making process to exhibition visitors. During sculpturing I met many visitors to have shown the process and to communicate to talk about art work, the exhibition and artist life etc.
2014 Galleria Jangva
"It is impossible not to smile when everyone meets Yasushi Koyama's cute animal sculptures." This was the first phrase of article for my exhibition in Galleria Jangva. It was written by a newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet (HBL) on 1.11.2014.
I had my solo exhibition in Galleria Jangva studio in Helsinki, Finland 29.10 - 16.11.2014. Galleria Jangva was one of my favorite art galleries in Helsinki. So I was very pleased to have my exhibition there. I showed 13 wood sculptures, 10 ceramic sculptures and 4 wood block prints. For this exhibition I borrowed a large wood sculpture ”Big Panda” from Children’s hospital Lastenlinna. In return 3 of my animal wood sculptures were given as Christmas present to children in Lastenlinna in December 2014.
Cat mom & child
Wood, house paint, oil paint /Mother cat 60 x 30 x 28 cm, Child cat 48 x 19 x 18 cm / 2014
Panda & animal friends
Ceramic, wood / 40 x 38 x 35 cm / 2014
Wood, house paint, oil paint /25 x 30 x 18 cm / 2014
2014 Galleria Uusi Kipinä
I had my solo exhibition in Kenno, Galleria Uusi Kipinä in Lahti, Finland 26.2 - 16.3.2014. The theme of exhibition was to give people “warm feeling”. The world of my animal sculptures warmly wrapped up the hearts of the people who restlessly passed the city. Most of my works are made from one piece of wood by using hand chisels. Rich textures of wood sculpturing give people warm impression. I showed 8 wood sculptures and 5 ceramic sculptures.
Wood, house paint, oil color / 60 x 21 x 23 cm / 2014
Wood, house paint, oil color / 47 x 18 x 19 cm / 2014
Wood, house paint, oil color / 45 x 19 x 19 cm / 2014
2013 Galleria Nikolai
I had my solo exhibition in Galleria Nikolai in Kotka, Finland 22.10 – 9.11.2013. The theme was SÖPÖ (Cute). I showed 7 wood sculptures and 8 plaster sculptures. On 21.10.2013 I had the opening party of my exhibition. There were many visitors to see my wood sculptures. I was very happy to have such a nice opening party there.
2012 Napa Gallery
I had my solo exhibition in Napa gallery in Helsinki, Finland 10.1 - 4.2.2012. It was my first solo exhibition selected by juries that was based on application selection. I liked the atmosphere of Napa gallery very much and Napa art & illustration inspired me a lot. So I was very happy to have had my exhibition there. The exhibition title was “Panda travelling”. I made panda sculpture from large wood and also from plaster. About plaster panda I made a story of “Panda travelling” and created a photo book of it. I also created slideshow of Panda travelling with a video projector. They were in the exhibition too. I showed 8 plaster sculptures, 4 wood sculptures, 1 bronze sculpture, 2 wooden reliefs, 1 photo book and 1 slide show. The following was the introduction of the exhibition “Panda travelling”.
Panda is going traveling with a white puppy to meet animal friends and a baby.
One moment one meeting!
Meeting with friends makes Panda’s journey happy!
Aggressively cute animals and babies are coming together in Napa Gallery.
Hope you will come here to see them.
Enjoy your meeting with animals!
Panda with white dog
Panda / plaster / 2010. White dog / plaster / 2010. Mushroom / plaster / 2010. Papurika / candol / 2010