Japan/Australia 1948-1999
arrived Australia 1974
Corona 1996
Stainless steel, bronze, gold leaf

Born in Karatsu, Japan in 1948, Akio Makigawa came to Australia in 1974 with the intention of training as a sail-maker in Perth. A keen yachtsman, his idea was to sail around the world, painting en route; although he soon abandoned this plan after meeting his partner-to-be, Carlier, in drawing classes in Perth.

While Makigawa had no formal art training in his native Japan, he studied sculpture at the Western Australian lnstitute of Technology in the late 1970s before moving to Melbourne in 1981 where he completed further study at the Victorian College of the Arts. Working with precision and sensitivity in various media – paper, sailcloth, papier-mâché, marble, corten steel and stainless steel – Makigawa enjoyed a highly productive career in terms of studio practice, regular exhibitions and public commissions until his untimely death in 1999.

Although not a practising Buddhist, Makigawa’s life and work were informed by an unmistakably Japanese aesthetic and a sense of Zen-like repose. His familiar repertoire of smoothly-finished, finely-balanced and subtly-inflected forms includes faceted pods, obelisks and truncated cones. Whether he was working in bronze or marble or, as later in his career, with the inscrutable sheen of stainless steel, Makigawa was always respectful of what he termed the ‘spiritual side of (his) material. As one of Makigawa’s major works, Corona is a fusion of natural form (a stylized bud on a tall stem) with an asymmetrical structure that itself combines architectural solidity with a sensuousness of surface and contour.

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