Makiko Ryujin is a Japanese-born, Melbourne-based woodturner, designer and photographer practicing experimental techniques.
Ryujin's works explore the uncontrolled transformative nature of fire and are inspired by the ceremonies she took part in during her childhood in Japan. The sacredness and form of the bowls within her culture inform the proportions and design of the objects she turns upon her lathe. Describing the process for creating her Shinki series, Ryujin says, 'The change that is brought to the bowls by fire is in stark contrast to the controlled transformation from wood to bowl on the lathe. Very quickly, the fire takes hold and consumes the fuel that I have offered it. After spending many hours working the wood into the bowl, I then must release control to fire and let go of the shape that I have created, welcoming whatever the burning brings to the vessel.'
Ryujin first exhibited at the gallery in Designwork 03 in 2019. In 2020, she was commissioned alongside collaborator Michael Gittings to create Saṃsāra, 2020, a site-specific lighting installation for the tearoom and mezzanine at the National Gallery of Victoria as part of NGV Triennial.
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