Yutaka Kobayashi was born in Tokyo. Since receiving his Master of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design, New York in 1991. Kobayashi has shown in numerous exhibitions internationally. His ecologically concerned site-specific installations often involve collaborations with schools and communities. Such complex projects have been undertaken by Kobayashi throughout the five continents. His works are shaped both by the physicality of the landscapes he inhabits and the communities he works in.

He has received overseas fellowship from the Japanese Ministry of Culture & Education. He is a professor of Fine Arts Education at University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. He is presently based in Australia as a visiting professor through a partnership with La Trobe Art Institute and Mildura Palimpsest Biannual.