Yoshiyuki Miura

Article Bio Works Merits Projects
Visual Arts (installation art, sculpture)
Asia, Eastern, Europe, Western
Japan, Germany
created on:
June 25, 2003
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Yoshiyuki Miura
Yoshiyuki Miura at his installation "5000 Löffel" Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2000 © Santu Mofogeng


Airy pyramids

The Japanese artist Yoshiyuki Miura says about his work: "I make nothing. I merely mark the form." Indeed many of his installations are immaterial and temporary, more hints than statements, as if he were loath make a final decision and wished materials to remain available for second thoughts. His works are designed for definite places, where they naturally seem to be at home and are surprisingly effective though minimal. For his filigree spatial effects and airy installations, he uses industrial tube-materials (metal), natural materials (granite shards) and industrial ready-mades (spoons).
In 1996 Yoshiyuki Miura´s diploma work at the Munich Akademie der Bildenden Künste drew a lot of attention. In the dead of night the artist had clambered up onto the roof of the teaching building to add a new, breezier storey. This he did with black balloons filled with gas and tied on metre-long strings, marking the new storey´s layout. As day broke, this wavering but architecturally precise creation became a new city attraction.

Yoshiyuki Miura´s airy approach dates back to years before his diploma work. The installation "Vibrations of Space" (1992) was made up of many shards of granite fastened to nylon threads, creating an impression of quivering and strangely immaterial bodies like sketches for sculpture. Four curving sections of them imitated and augmented the curve of the passage in which they were placed, as if urging the architecture itself to start quivering. He used hard and brittle materials in airy and fragile installations in many further works over the next decade.

In 1993, Miura inverted our notions of pyramids and gravitation. The "Hanging Pyramid", a castle in the air, is made of granite shards hung upside down in the form of a pyramid. It looks like a mirage or a pyramid´s shadow, and the stones seem to hover and move through space like the ghost of a vanished building.

Yoshiyuki Miura´s great theme, his effort to combine industrial materials with transcendental notions, is likewise apparent in his work "Fluid Space" (1993). The fuel of this dynamic object is silicon oil, which flows through graceful transparent columns from the room´s ceiling. In a basin on the floor it creates curly towers, which are finally pumped back up. The installation is further modelled through changing lighting effects. The space seems to breathe and quiver through the down-and-up of the columns.

Besides granite and silicon, metal is often used and seems, in the installation "Change" (1998), to respond to the minimalism of Donald Judd. Filigree threads of steel only a few centimetre´s apart come at regular intervals out of a wall painted red, creating a long series of rectangles. But whereas Judd´s works remain stable and closed, Miura´s hover. They seem to reach out into space only hesitantly and to make suggestions rather than statements.

In the year 2000 Yoshiyuki Miura created "5000 Spoons". On the floor of the exhibition room lay, placed carefully next to one another, 5000 spoons in the form of a huge reptile´s armour-plating. In them light was broken and the environment mirrored. Even this monster was fragile and could have been slain by a child. In this respect it was akin to works by Mariella Mosler who, on the floors of exhibition rooms, painstakingly creates huge sand-sculptures which a mere puff of wind would ruin.

Yoshiyuki Miura´s reptilian installation was inspired by European meals: "As a Japanese I was amazed by my first meal in Germany, when I was urged to attack the food with a knife and fork. In Japan we use tools of wood or porcelain, and eating is pacifistic. The European spoon is a statesmanlike compromise, being a weapon but blunt."

These and other works relate to sculpture, architecture and transcendence. Their charm lies in their successful fusion of the mind and senses.

Author: Petra Stegmann


Yoshiyuki Miura was born in 1958 in Fukuoka in Japan. From 1981-85 he studied sculpture at the State University for Music and Fine Art in Tokyo, then with a grant from DAAD to study abroad, he went to the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, where he studied under Leo Kornbrust. In 1996, after receiving his diploma, he was awarded the academy´s debutante prize.

Yoshiyuki Miura lives in Munich.


Group Exhibitions (Choice)

Exhibition / Installation
2000 "Heimat Kunst", House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany 1991 "Forum junger Kunst“, Kunsthalle, Kiel, Germany

Solo Exhibitions (Choice)

Exhibition / Installation
2002 "Sculptures“, Von Lintel Gallery, New York, USA 2000 "Inflections of Space“, Von Lintel Gallery, New York, USA "Yoshiyuki Miura”, Nusser & Baumgart Contemporary, Munich, Germany


Yoshiyuki Miura has won the Cardinal Wetter Prize and the Danner Foundation Prize.


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Homeland Art (HeimatKunst)

Cultural Diversity in Germany

(01 April 00 - 02 July 00)