Japanese artist Yusuke Asai just unveiled his latest immersive mud art masterpiece right in the heart of Texas. Like Asai's other artworks, his new sprawling Yamatane installation in Houston's Rice Gallery is made from locally-sourced soil mixed in with other natural materials. His versatility with the medium is astounding--although Asai started with just ten pigments, he managed to create no less than 27 different shades in his mural.
Asai calls his art “earth paintings” because he primarily works with soil, an abundant and organic medium. “I choose to use the earth as a medium because I can find dirt anywhere in the world and do not need special materials,” Asai says. “Dirt is by nature very different than materials sold in art stores! Seeds grow in it and it is home to many insects and microorganisms. It is a ‘living’ medium.”
Asai doesn’t pre-plan his designs with sketches. According to the artist, imagery of figures and creatures come to him in the spur of the moment and translate into beautiful detailed worlds with rolling mountains, geological forms, and tribal patterns. These compositions spill from the gallery walls to the floors and ceilings to create an immersive experience for the viewer.
Photos by Nash Baker