After using materials like wood or aluminum, Yamamoto started engaging in works made of brass around 1980and ever since has been devoted to using brass sticks as material.The composition of his work is relatively simple and his style has not much changed since the mid-80s, when I first saw his work. In the past ten years however, it seems that his work has changed a little. The fact that this change has occurred over a long period, definitely, slowly, reflects his own nature.
Curving the brass, polishing it, welding it , and polishing it again,- this is the process of creating his work. It is quite a patient task; he must struggle with the material. Through this working process a gentle roundness and beautiful luster emerge from the surface of the brass sticks. His devotion has made him skilled with the material, and the inspiration he feels from the working process gives him new insight into the development of his work.
"A landscape of Light 73-5" from his show in 1993 is a work that illustrates this maturity. Rectangular solids composed of brass sticks are arranged regularly on the floor. The lower part of the brass sticks are made thinner and sharper where they are closer to the floor. While the upper part has the quality of heaviness, the lower part has the quality of sharpness. There is an exquisite balance between the upper part and the lower part in the work which gives the piece a feeling of tension. In this delicate balance the soft brightness of brass is emphasized, and it is as if luster has independently emerged out of the substance.
Yamamoto was born in 1936 and experienced World War II in his early childhood. I read his essay in which his recollections of those days were written. According to the essay, he remarks how he felt that falling incendiary bombs were shiny and beautiful. I have no intention to connect this recollection of his with his work directly, but it implies that his keen sensitivity to brightness has long been with him. His sensitivity to unusual and tense situations may be expressed through his interpretation of shiny bright objects in his work. He also says that he wants to try exhibiting his work in an outside setting, and that the setting should be as desolate as possible. The ideas expressed in his own work tell us something about where he as a creator is going.
His compositions have mainly been formed from straight lines up to now, but attention should be paid to the fact that some of hisrecent works include curving lines of natural contours, which might be a sign of a new development. I look forward to seeing it with much interest.

Takashi Mizutani
art critic