AIR Featured Artist: Shinji Turner-Yamamoto

By Bernheim

Shinji Turner-Yamamoto is a Japanese born U.S.-based artist known for paintings, sculptures, and site-specific art installations. He employs elemental materials such as trees, fossils, and minerals, creating profound viewer connections with nature. TurnerYamamoto first came to Bernheim in early 2011 to study lightning-struck trees as part of his Global Tree Project, an international art initiative founded by the artist to encourage audience engagement with the natural world. While at Bernheim, he became fascinated with our fossil and fossil beds. The fascination never faded, and a 2018 Kohler Arts/Industry residency in Wisconsin enabled him to actualize a deep-rooted creative idea.

As an artist, Turner-Yamamoto is committed to using historical and natural elements as meditations on the environment. He continued to develop his work in and with nature through extended Bernheim artist residencies in 2017 and 2018. In his 2018 three-month KOHLER Arts/Industry Program residency, Turner-Yamamoto worked in the KOHLER Co. foundry, a workshop for casting metal, with the resources, technology, and materials of Kohler Co., exploring new ideas, processes, and perspectives inspired by his previous Bernheim residencies research.

At Bernheim, the artist executed the preparatory phase working at a creek site where the banks abound with 400-million year-oldDevonian coral fossils. He collected these fragments or created molds from the fossil bed and ice crystal formations on the water’s frozen surface.

Shinji Turner-Yamamoto brings an international perspective to American made work through the invocation of our geological time scale. His installation pieces transform individual sites into spiritual spaces, offering visitors an opportunity to contemplate the interconnectedness of all life.

It’s an honor for Bernheim to support TurnerYamamoto’s artistic investigations because they encourage humanity to encounter nature and time in new and unexpected ways. See more of the artist’s work at

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