“In Australia, I live among trees; trees are an essential factor for me to fell connected and at home.” Japanese artist Kayo Yokoyama creates beautifully detailed glass sculptures engraved with trees. Like a dentist, she uses hand-held motor drills with small diamond tipped burrs to carve her nature scenes. Though she was born in Japan, Yokoyama lives in the Blue Mountain in Australia where she draws much of her inspiration. Trees represent real trees as well as a state of higher consciousness in the journey and growth of an identity. “My engraving of trees on the glass objects' surface recalls me to a place of strength inside me,” she states. “They suggest the fundamental order of the world and my place in it – my homeland.”
In some of her works, you'll also notice the addition of chairs. They act as a metaphor for the self, signifying the absence as well as the presence of a person. In others, you'll notice streaks of color swirling around the bottom of the sculptures. They're evocative of landscapes. In all, when viewing her works, the artist hopes the viewer feels a connection towards his or her own home.
Born in Japan, Yokoyama moved to Australia in 1997 to pursue her studies in the arts. In 2001, she graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Visual Arts and then received her Master of Fine Arts in 2011. In September 2014, Lost Bear Gallery in New South Wales displayed her stunning sculptures in a dual exhibition with artist Martin Campbell. As the gallery states, “A love of objects and working with the medium of blown glass, (which she engraves and carves) has enabled Kayo to express her concept of home and ‘sanctuary', the title of this exhibition. Sanctuary is all about a place to feel safe, a place of peace, a place for reflection and a place for feelings; whether they be feelings of happiness, sadness or merely contemplation. Trees have been a constant theme in Kayo's work and in this exciting new collection, some of the artworks also feature carved houses and buildings such as churches and castles, to help articulate her concept of sanctuary.”