Overview

“I work with the fragments of memories that float around the boundary between past and now”

Makiko Nakamura was born in Japan in 1951. She was brought up by her Grandparents and started to paint at a very early age. Her Grandfather and her Uncle, who had been killed in the war, were both artists and the house was filled with their painting materials which she was taught to use. During her childhood she learned the techniques of calligraphy and traditional Japanese painting and, as an only child, she described painting becoming her best friend and consumming her daily life.

 

 In 1999 she made the decision to move to Dublin where she lived and worked until 2013, taking Irish citizenship in 2011. During this time she developed the process which has directed her painting ever since. Nakamura begins with simple, repetitive geometric shapes or grids which gradually dissappear as she builds up each layer of paint; when complete, she then reverses the process, slowly sanding away the paint surface to try and find the starting grid, on the way creating a new surface made up of scratches and traces of colour from every layer of the work. Nakamura talks of this process being a way to see through time, revisiting memories hidden in the work and from their simple, minimalist beginning each painting takes on a more organic and expressive character.

 

Throughout her fourteen years in Ireland and ever since her return to Japan in 2013, Makiko Nakamura’s studio practice has remained constant. She refers to her canvases as her ‘slow paintings’, each one following the same steady process over several months: a single, repeating pattern or a block of colour left to dry before being overpainted with another and another, until she stops painting and begins to work her way back through the different layers with fine sandpaper. Her tightly controlled technique is like archaeology, she says. The emotional and artistic decisions of preceding months, once covered, reappearing as tantalising glimpses through the painting’s history.

 

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Selected Works
Exhibitions
Video
Biography

Solo Exhibtions

2022 Rondo, John Martin Gallery, London

2019 Cassini’s Journey, John Martin Gallery, London
2017 Moons of Jupiter, John Martin Gallery, London
2014 Room, John Martin Gallery, London
2013 Paintings 2011-2013, John Martin Gallery, London
2012 Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
2012 Marchand d’art, Zurich, Switzerland
2011 ‘passage’ Taylor Galleries, Dublin, Ireland
2010 place, John Martin Gallery, London
2009 Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2007 Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Glebe Gallery, Donegal, Ireland
Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2006 Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2005 John Martin Chelsea, London, UK
Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
2004 Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2003 Ashford Gallery, RHA, Dublin, Ireland
2002 Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2001 Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co.Kildare, Ireland
1999 The American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
1998 Morris Arboretum Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania, USA
1997 Cloitre des Billette, Paris, France
(In the Japan Year in France)
1996 Gallery Kozuka, Nagoya, Japan
(also in ’95, ’94, ’93, ’89)
1995 Gallery 16, Kyoto, Japan
(also in ’94, ’91, ’90, ’89, ’88, ’87, ’86)
1987 ON Gallery, Osaka, Japan
1986 Gallery Space to Space, Gallery Love collection, Nagoya, Japan

Group Exhibitions

2020 Preview, Cromwell Place, London

2019 The Winter Show, John Martin Gallery, London

2018 The Summer Show, John Martin Gallery, London
2012 Fiera, Bologna, Italy, John Martin Gallery ( ’11)
, Silvers and Golds, John Martin Gallery, London, UK
2011 group show, Taylor Galleries, Dublin, Ireland
ART ATHINA, John Martin Gallery, Greece
2011 Arte Fiera, John Martin Gallery, Bologna
2010 ART ATHINA, John Martin Gallery, Greece
RHA Annual Exhibition, Dublin, Ireland
(also in ’09, ’08, ’07, ’04, ’03, ’02 )
Boyle Arts Festival, Boyle, Ireland
(also in ’09, ’05, ’04, ’03 )
2009 Storylines, John Martin Gallery, London, UK
2008 Familiar Faces, Bourn Vincent Gallery, Univ.of Limerick, Ireland
RUA Annual Exhibition, Belfast, Northern Ireland
2006 Art in State Buildings, Tour Exhibition of Government of Ireland
RHA Gala Banquet Exhibition, Dublin, Ireland
(also in ’04, ’03 )
2004 Colour and Light, John Martin Gallery, London, UK
invited artists exhibition, Cavanacor Gallery, Donegal, Lreland
2001 Two painters show, Peppercanister Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
The Irish Connection, View Two Gallery, Liverpool, UK
Three painters show, Ashford Gallery, RHA, Dublin, Ireland
1999 Summer Exhibition, Hira Museum of Arts, Shiga, Japan
1998 Large Print Exhibition, Meyerson Hall Gallery of the Univ.of Pennsylvania, USA
1997 Three persons show, Deans Gallery of the Univ.of Pennsylvania, USA
L’Exposition Collective, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
1995 Direction of Art 95, Osaka Prefectural Contemporary Arts Centre, Japan
1980-94 Various exhibitions at Museums, Galleries in Japan in the ’80s and ’90s

Education

1996 L’Atelier Contre Point ( print making ) Paris, France
1982 Nagoya Art School, Nagoya, Japan
1970-72 Kyoto Seika Junior College, the Fine Arts department, Kyoto, Japan
1967-70 Kanou Senior High School, the Arts Course, Gifu, Japan

Awards & Residencies

2010 Per Cent for Art Scheme at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
2003 – 06 Membership of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin , Ireland
2000 – 01 Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japanese Research Fellowship
1999 – 2002 Residency at the Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin, Ireland
1997 – 98 The post graduate school of Fine Arts of the University of Pennsylvania (as a visiting artist ) Philadelphia, USA
1997 Residency at Cite Internationale des Arts Studios, Paris, France
1986 Fine work prize ” the 16th International Art Exhibition Japan”
Fine work prize ” the 7th Contemporary Japan Art Exhibition”

Public Collections

Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Gate Theatre, Wexford Opera House, The Office of Public Works, Ireland, National Self-Portrait Collection, Univ. of Limerick, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Boyle Civic Collection, AXA insurance
The American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
Certre Culturel Lutherien de Paris, France