Makiko Nakamura

31 Oct - 23 Nov 2007

Japanese-born Makiko Nakamura will hold her fourth solo exhibition at the Peppercanister Gallery in October / November 2007. An abstract painter with an international reputation, Makiko held a sell-out solo show at the gallery last year, closely followed by an outstanding exhibition comprising five large scale works at Farmleigh House, Dublin, in homage to Samuel Beckett in the centenary year of his birth. A special interest in the writings of Beckett drew her to explore his country of origin and Makiko moved to Dublin in 1999 where she still resides and works to this day.

Since her arrival in Ireland Makiko Nakamura has distinguished herself as an artist of immense skill and intensity. Her finely worked abstract paintings are based on the meditative repetition and erasure of grid like structures and are distinguished by a highly burnished, reflective surface. She states “in my paintings I repeat the act of painting and erasing. Always thinking about the relationship between something being erased and the idea or the actual experience of disappearing. In the experience of disappearing something is always lost. Perhaps the idea of being and non-being is not far apart in my work.”

Makiko Nakamura is essentially a pioneering, passionate abstract painter with a unique, highly-refined technique who devotes her entire life to making innovative art – art that is beautiful, subtle and sustaining. Her paintings are highly original and distinctive in appearance. In the earlier days of her career, she used a limited palette of silvers, blues, blacks and occasionally gold, but over the past few years she has gone on to produce works in vibrant shades of orange, yellow and red, such as the wonderful Aix and anniversaries in red from this forthcoming show. Juxtaposed with these vivid works are some beautifully subtle, silvery-grey pieces such as jingle bell and the skies or waters diptych which have a still, meditative quality and provide a welcome respite to the hectic world outside.

Makiko has also had several one-person exhibitions in Ireland in the Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast; Ashford Gallery, RHA, Dublin and Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare. She has also had a number of solo exhibitions in London, France, Japan and the US and has contributed to numerous group exhibitions internationally. Examples of her work are to be found in the following public collections: Office of Public Works, Ireland; AXA Insurance, Dublin; Limerick City Gallery of Art; Boyle Civic Collection; Ireland; American College, Pennsylvania, USA; Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris; Centre Culturel Lutherien de Paris and Takenaka Construction Company; Japan. Her work is also to be found in private collections in Ireland, UK, USA, France and Japan.

The Private View will take place on Tuesday 30th October 2007 from 5.30 to 7.30pm and the exhibition will open to the public on Wednesday 31st October.

Invitation Note


Energy, the life force, can be creative or destructive, healing or ill-making.

The world we live in is a very noisy, frightening and unstable place. We are bombarded by this growing noise and the frenetic clamour of a solipsistic consumer society. We are dazzled by the lights of information technology, seduced into believing that science and technology have all the answers to the human condition. An excess of stress hormones is making our bodies sick. It’s as if our over-heated minds are out of control, causing havoc to ourselves and the planet we live on.

Makiko Nakamura’s art provides an antidote, or at least a respite to the madness.

Hers is a slow art. She has an amazing ability to harness endless energy and release it slowly. When you give yourself over to her works they have a meditative healing quality. They are beautifully quiet, non-confrontational works. They have a history of personal experiences that offers a resonance in our own lives. We can assimilate and absorb them because they are not ego driven. They are not in your face. There is not a hint of manipulation or agenda.

Herbert Read said that if a work persists in being contemplated, then it probably is a work of art. Makiko’s work has illusive, intangible qualities that draw you back again and again. There is nothing obvious or over-stated and she demonstrates with great skill how subtlety and sensitivity can be powerful. These compelling paintings have that sense of transcendental timelessness.

Her modus operandi is a labour intensive process of distillation. Layer upon layer of applied pigment erased, applied and erased again until time stands still. We are left in a vast spiritual NOW where past and present seem to merge and become one. We are left in a very health inducing place.

Makiko Nakamura’s talent is enormous and we are privileged that she has become part of the community of Irish artists.

Liam Belton RHA