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Amid the hurry of daily life it is easy to forget what lies below our feet. To most of us, it may appear to be just cement or dirt, but to artist Kenji Yamada there are profound mysteries contained on the ground, in things as simple as our own footprints in the snow. His installation artworks are born out of memories, both personal and historical, and take shape in collaborations with architects, ethnographers and local community members. .

At 30, he is the “oldest” young person I have ever met. By this I mean he contemplates ancient knowledge on a daily basis, tapping into the wisdom of the past to ascertain how it relates to today. On the occasion of the release of his Beppu Subterranean Innards Museum iPad app for an exhibition opening at Chiyoda Arts 3331, Yamada sat down with The Japan Times to discuss his artistic process.

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