Yama: The mining art of Sakubei Yamamoto

Key information

10:30 am to 5:00 pm
Brunei Gallery
Exhinition Rooms
Event type

About this event

SOAS’s Brunei Gallery is pleased to host an exhibition of the work of Sakubei Yamamoto as part of the "Sakubei Yamamoto Coal Mining Painting Exhibition World tour" presented by the Bridge Together Project, inclusive with Big Pit Wales; National Mining Museum Scotland; Embassy of Japan in the UK and the New York Nippon Club.

At seven years old Sakubei Yamamoto (1892-1984) moved with his family to the coal mines of the Chikuho region in Kyushu. Aged 12, he was apprenticed to a colliery blacksmith. He worked as a mine blacksmith and coalminer on to work at a total of 18 different mines until the age of 63 in 1955. He then became a colliery security guard, and started painting his memories of the mining industry.

He had little formal education but, from the age of 21 in 1913, began keeping notebooks and diaries in which he recorded events. These influenced his later painting. This exhibition focuses on a small selection of the artist's 2,000 drawings and paintings. In 2011 Sakubei Yamamoto’s coal mining paintings and drawings were registered in UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme, a programme acknowledging items of world significance and outstanding universal value.

The Bridge Together Project aims to introduce the beauty of Japanese culture to a diverse global audience as a part of a long-lasting legacy of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. This project is also part of the “UK- JAPAN Season of Culture”

Sample Images from the Exhibition