Kentaro Yamada: “I Want to Contribute Something Positive”

Artist name: Kentaro Yamada

Featured Work 1: Uplifted Project with Chef Rick Gresh


Kentaro Yamada’s photography project “The Uplifted” shows people with their most prized possessions levitating before them. It bridges the everyday and the otherworldly. I think this creative and unique honoring of humanity’s diverse personalities and life paths has an “uplifting” effect for the viewer and for the subjects as well, judging by their expressions.

Featured Works Slideshow:

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5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

Art to me is something I can stare at for hours without getting distracted. But art is also something that is thought-provoking and that would make me wonder for hours at a time. Great art is universal and it transcends gender, age, race, species, and even time.

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

In Summer 2012, I picked up an inexpensive second-hand Nikon DSLR and captured everything I could. I wanted to seize the interminable beauty of this world and share it with my audience—it didn’t matter if I had to be outside in unbearable weather of -40F (or 105F!). For a few years, I challenged myself to delve into city-scapes, nights-capes, landscapes, stars-capes, micro-life, wedding portraits, studio portraits, food, events, and even street photography.

3. What are you making now, and why?

I constantly work on “The Uplifted” whether I am awake or asleep. It actually keeps me from sleeping because of excitement. I do it because I get to meet all these amazing individuals, collaborate with them to create one-of-a-kind art pieces together and I get to listen to their incredible success stories. By creating and sharing these, I want to contribute something positive to counter all of the sadness and negativity that the world is exposed to lately. That’s my mission.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

Although I’d welcome donations, I hope to keep this project remaining FREE for everyone. It’s about joy and not pain, something positive and not negative, and it’s not for profit. That’s my way of volunteering. In the meantime, I’d plan on an opening gala & exhibits, publishing a book, and working with media in order to gain more exposure. If my ultimate goal— to ‘uplift’ the Pope and the Dalai Lama— came true, that’d be something out of this world. It’d truly be a “mic drop” moment.

5. What else would you like to say?

Thank you for reading and please support & share my project 🙂

Artist Supplied Background:

“Having spent his early years in the States and Japan shaped Kentaro Yamada’s unmatched creativity and zen-esque persona. For 12 years, he followed the all-too-typical full time job life until one day in 2012, he suddenly gets dismissed. Armed with a sense of adventure, he seeks a whole new game plan. He models, translates & interprets, becomes a marketing consultant, engages in short film productions, among many other projects. At times, finding his true purpose felt like a maze. One day, he picks up an inexpensive second-hand Nikon DSLR, and the rest is history. He found his niche in capturing portraits and storytelling, but with one little twist: “levitation”. His project, The Uplifted, highlights joy, accomplishment and success through a collection of portraits of everyday leaders and visionaries with their most prized possessions levitating right before their eyes.”

Kentaro Yamada is also on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram.

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers

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