Yukihiro Akama: Ki no ie

Contact Details:

West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LG


Leeds Inspired

Yukihiro Akama: Ki no ie

26th February 2022 - 29th May 2022

Working from a furniture maker’s workshop in Huddersfield where he is surrounded by the natural world, Yukihiro Akama creates beautifully intricate miniature wooden houses, each one carved from a single piece of wood.
Originally from Japan, Akama studied architecture at Tohoku University of Art and Design in Yamagata, Japan and began his working career as an architect. However progressively feeling a need to create physical objects using traditional tools with his hands, whilst also working digitally on a computer, he began assisting a carpenter building traditional timber framed houses.

It was at this time that Akama designed a mud store, enabling the house to be built with the use of his mother’s gardening tools. Each work he creates reflects his memories of this intimate process, representing home, loss, identity, and love.

After his move to the UK in 2011, he was inspired to make small buildings based of vernacular houses from his travels around Asia and interesting buildings seen in the UK. He presented his first exhibition of work in 2013 at The Shop Floor Project in Cumbria, who represent Yukihiro Akama in the UK.

With no pre-conceptions as to where each piece will end, he begins his work with a hand drawn sketch on an offcut of oak, walnut, sapele, iroko or maple. The wood often dictates the starting point for the design, with the knots or grain of the wood guiding where Akama cuts and carves. Gradually they take on the appearance of traditional Asian stilt houses – low and long, or tall with large roofs, sometimes they cantilever out, and with intricate details of clay render and pebbles minimally decorating the surfaces. Inspirations come from vernacular architecture, stacks of old bricks, stones, clouds, and an array of naturally occurring sights. Akama uses traditional Japanese tools, creating rough surfaces to sit against smooth, and finishing areas with a blow torch prior to polishing and oiling each piece.

Akama has created a collection 16 original works and we are delighted to have the largest piece he has made to date measuring approx. 85cm tall.

Ki no ie: The Word of the Wooden House

Works will be available to purchase from YSP Shop both in store and online with Own Art available.