Maki (Photographer)

Biography

English | Japanese

I was born in 1961 in Hiroshima City, Japan and presently reside in Tokyo.  I was raised in Hiroshima by my grandparents until I was six years old. While my family, parents and a four-year junior brother, lived in Tokyo, I lived with my grandparents because they doted on me and wanted me to live with them. Grandfather was a descendant of village headman and the traditional folk house he had inherited was made of many thick beams. In the house garden, there was a pond with carps swimming and a pine tree with beautiful branches. The life was very idyllic

My grandfather was a painter and one of my play ground in my childhood days was his studio filled with a scent of painting oil.  In the studio, there were easels, paintbrushes, pallet knives and tubes of paints in various colors. He drew rough sketches, did the ground painting, built additional layers of paints, scraped and added new layer of paint onto the canvas.  I recall vividly watching my grandfather beside me adding new layers of paint onto the empty canvas and transforming it into a new universe. The light from the window at the roof of the studio lit the newly born universe on the canvas. It was indeed my first encounter with beauty. As I watched Grandfather materializing his imagination into a picture, I had wondered where it was coming from. Thinking back today, I realized that for a talented person like my grandfather, a world could be shaped from nothing. One day something unexpected occurred in my life. my grandparents left Hiroshima for some anonymous reason and moved to live in Tokyo. They left Hiroshima, the ancestry land and the household, sold the inherited effects, and came with just a handful of belongings. I lost my hometown; I had been used to resetting my life but it was indeed a ghastly occurrence. I suppose it must have been worse for my grandparents who lived along with the land. They died in succession in five years after spending an unfamiliar city life.

What I strive to convey through my works is the beauty of people who accept the unexpected fate with dignity. We are not capable of altering our own fate nor can we change the fate of beloved ones. We can only love someone when they are actually present in front of us. The facts are that the world never changes or ends overnight: there are days when a good thing happens on a same day you hear a bad news. Despite feeling a grief for sometimes, should we had a memory of days living with the beloved ones, we would not loose the fertility of our mind. After all, I find life is not so bad to live.