Yuka Oyama sets person and worn object into performance. Her practice lies at the intersection of contemporary jewellery and contemporary art. Oyama explores jewellery’s intimate relationship with the human body and the affinity people have with objects. Her sculptural imaginings have been described as “the artist’s vision of contemporary life as full of strangely mechanical inter-human relations and futuristic human-object rituals”.
During her residency Yuka Oyama has produced a new work she calls Helpers – Changing Homes. She has interviewed a group of volunteer participants in order to unearth the emotional and psychological connections they make through the ‘things’ they carry with them as they travel from place to place. Oyama believes that objects come to ‘life’ when we think about them not simply as functional objects but as ‘things’ we invest with narratives, because they keep us connected to people and to the place we call home.
Oyama’s Helpers – Changing Homes came together as a live performance of bodies adorned with accessories, appendages and extensions. In her re-visionings of the human body Oyama blurs boundaries between ‘subject and object’, people and ‘things’. Her dystopic imaginings become the characters of Oyama’s ‘slapstick psycho-dramas’ – the live performance. Oyama is interested in how people shape themselves and make themselves visible – through their intimate encounters with ‘things’. The live performance was presented in January and the video artwork produced from the perfomance will be exhibitied as part of The Language of Things, an exhibition of international jewellery curated by Sian Van Dyk, at The Dowse Art Museum, in Lower Hutt.
Japanese/German Berlin based artist Yuka Oyama was born in Tokyo and grew up in Malaysia, Japan, and Indonesia. She received her BFA at Rhode Island School of Design, an MA in Art Jewellery and Sculpture at Munich Art Academy, and has recently completed her PhD in Art and Craft at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.
Yuka Oyama’s residency is supported by the Dowse Art Museum and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Helpers - Changing Homes is supported by Allied Pickfords. For more information on Yuka Oyama visit her website