Kevin Yatsu is an artist who works with digital and physical media to explore diaspora narratives based in magical realism and the creation of life-flexible creative ecosystems. Utilizing game engines and AI-driven tools, virtual galleries and interactive installations, he creates multi-media interactions within unexpected environments. In Yatsu’s worlds, permutated presentations and sonic oddities mingle with uncanny situations and environments, inviting the viewer to engage with new perspectives and realities.


Through the lens of East-Asian folklore and Buddhism, he investigates themes of curiosity, identity, and latent histories. He operates using collaboration-friendly systems and intuitive physical-to-digital//digital-to-physical workflows as a response to the tech industry’s agenda. He actively facilitates collaborations with creatives who don’t normally consider presenting works in virtual spaces.


Kevin holds an MFA from the University of Oregon and a BFA in Cinema Studies from the University of Oregon. He is the Co-Founder and Director of AUGURY HOUSE, an interdisciplinary art collective centered around life-flexible creative collaborations.






ARTIST STATEMENT

My work imagines new models for exploring personal histories and processing the complexities of my diaspora existence. The practice is formed from the displacement and ingrained traumas of being a 4th generation Japanese-American. Centered around play, my creative language spans game engines, audio design, video, photography, performance, web collages, and new media installations. In the work, limitless permutations are held above single outcomes. Leaving room for growth allows for kinder experiences of time. Through the facilitation of multi-media collaborations and life-sensitive modes of practice, my work cultivates tools and methodologies for arriving and cultivating the individual and the candid.


Within the work, magical realism and worldbuilding set the groundwork for my creative explorations. My relationship to slow cinema and 70s Japanese films have deeply influenced my approaches to sculpting in time. Practicing means translating my imagination and lived experiences into time-based gesture and form. The work arises out of a continual cycle of learning, research, and iteration as I absorb new practices and explore different mediums.

I am driven by the unconditional support from my family and I strive to reciprocate that energy to my peers and collaborators. I recognize the nuance and effort required to mine one’s histories while living on stolen land. I imagine systems for creative practice rooted in sensitivity and compassion. When I create new work, familial values allow me to freely explore without the fear of failure. I engage with audio spaces and visual spaces through processes like combination, fragmentation, recontextualization, blending, and arranging. I want to see the edges of these digital mediums and to rest in their fibers.



EDUCATION

2021

Master of Fine Arts
University of Oregon School of Art and Design
Eugene, OR

2018

Bachelor of Fine Arts
University of Oregon, Cinema Studies
Eugene, OR



EXHIBITIONS

2021

IRENE.HOUSE, Laverne Krause Gallery, Eugene, OR


2019


Cohrot II, Laverne Krause Gallery, Eugene, OR

Cohrot, Laverne Krause Gallery, Eugene, OR

Throne Room. Washburn Gallery, Eugene, OR

User Guide. Laverne Krause Gallery, Eugene, OR


SCREENING

2018

SUM VENOM//EVIL, Portland Underground Film Festival, Portland, OR



TEACHING

2019 - 2021

Graduate Instructor, “Time Based Media,” University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.

Teaching Assistant, “The Artist Experience,” University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.


PRESENTATION

2017

“Feminist Media Studies Symposium,” sponsored by University of Oregon Cinema Studies, Portland, OR.






kevinyatsu@gmail.com