photo & design by A. Emmonds
A postcard of Yuriko's MFA thesis show at
Arizona State University.
Ganyomilin is a word Yuriko has created by rearranging the letters of the Hindu terms,
Lingam - Yoni, which represent the
masculine and feminine archetypes.
Q: Tell us why do you make sculptures about sexuality.
Yuli: Eroticism and sexuality have always fascinated me. When I was a child, I used to draw my own erotic manga (Japanese for comic books) and hide them in my locked drawer.
Q: Why do you work so extensively in stone?
Yuli: Because I love it so much. My stone carving is one of a kind and it is DURABLE. It's going to be around for a while and it's the antithesis of mass produced, industrial products that we are constantly bombarded with these days.
Stone also lifts up my heart. When I see its beautiful colors and patterns created by nature in the course of thousands of years or more, I am in awe. When I work with stone with my hands, I feel deeply connected to the earth and I imagine the incredible journey that a rock has taken to come to my possession.
Q: How long does it take you to carve a stone sculpture?
Yuli: People ask me this question all the time. I will say, each piece takes a lifetime because it is the sum total of everything I have ever experienced. I want people to know that creativity is nothing like a job with an hourly wage.
Q: And finally, do you feel that your artwork reflects
Yuli: Japan is where I am from and where I spent first decade of my life. I will always carry its cultural sensibilities and they will show up in my work one way or the other. I have also spent considerable time in a number of different countries and adopted diverse cultural/social perspectives that are uniquely different from Japanese. My approach is to incorporate variety of artistic traits that resonate with me and ultimately convey in my art a universal message to esteem and embrace life, nature and love.