National Museum of Women in the Arts
Yuriko Yamaguchi
1948 - present
Photograph of Yuriko Yamaguchi, by Carol Harrison, courtesy of the artist
Place of Birth:
American, Japanese
Phonetic Spelling:
yoo-REE-koh yah-mah-GOO-chee
Minority status:
Work Type/Media:
Drawings and prints, Multimedia (electronic, digital, video, film), Painting, Sculpture
Artistic Role(s):
Mixed Media Artist , Multimedia Artist, Painter, Printmaker, Sculptor, Watercolorist
Artist's Statement:
Our bodies are constructed from millions of cells. One human being is part of the whole society. We sometimes feel our sense of individuality disappear when we view ourselves as being small parts of a big mass. Years ago, people lived in tight-knit local societies. Now we no longer feel that same kind of closeness. Everything is transient and in a state of flux. What we establish can easily be dismantled by the rapid change of technology. However, we are connected more than ever through the Internet. This is a phenomenon that the previous generation could not even imagine. Ironically, many people feel more isolated than ever, despite the constant exchange of emails and instant messages. On the other hand, we want increasingly rapid communications. I would like to investigate this technologically advanced environment and the emotional impact it has on other people and me.

My task is to create an environment which offers people instruments for reflection and participation in the environment. I hope to take us one step closer to capturing genuine empathy among different people.

I was lured into becoming deeply involved with the Web work by an unexpected encounter with a book entitled Web of Life. It was written by Fritjof Capra in 1999 right after I created the first Web piece. In his book, Capra explains the importance of a new awareness of “ecological thinking” and of having a holistic mindset. The book inspired me to investigate the relationship between my work and Capra’s “ecological thinking.” I wanted to think about shifting my way of thinking and working to emphasize holistic relationships.

My piece, called Return, consists of thousands of various cast-resin cell pieces connected by wire. I used resin instead of organic materials to allude to the artificial and plastic contemporary world. This time I collaborated with two engineers who helped me install motion sensors and computer chips into my sculpture. Working with new technologies and combining them with rudimentary hand work is a new challenge for me.

All human races have the same DNA, and we share DNA with the original human beings in Africa. Yet our many layers of cultural, social, and political histories make it difficult to recognize and acknowledge all our similarities. We quarrel, argue, and fight. We live in a web of struggle, confusion, and sometimes chaos.

Statement courtesy of Yuriko Yamaguchi

Place(s) of Residence:
Falls Church
Where Trained/Schools:
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA (1977-1979) Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA (1975-1976) University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA (1971-1975)
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Grant, Franz and Virginia Bader Fund, Washington, DC, USA (2004) First Place, ArtQuest, University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, CA, USA (1985) Fellowship, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, USA (1983)
Earliest exhibition:
San Francisco Juried Art Fair, San Francisco, CA, USA (1972)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Four Centuries of Women's Art: The National Museum of Women in the Arts
Artist retrospective(s):