Makiko Ryujin is a wood turner and photographer who is based in a new studio in Fawkner.
Born in Aizu Wakamatsu in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan, she grew up in Takasaki, in Gumma, before spending one year of high school in Jakarta, Indonesia, and finishing her high school studies in Melbourne, Australia. Following high school, Makiko completed a Bachelor of Photography degree at RMIT University, Melbourne.
After university, Makiko worked in a variety of photographic fields. These ranged from fashion, to product photography, and editorial photography for a renowned Japanese guide book publisher. Her artistic work initially focused upon thematic artistic portraiture. Working in tandem with a hair and make-up specialist, their goal was to create worlds and characters for the women who modeled for them to exist in. It put the models into a slightly fantastical context where their beauty and personality could stand out. Her current photography work aligns with her dual career as a wood turner, as she is now primarily photographing the work of other artists and designers.
In late 2014 Makiko started studying woodwork part time with the Victorian Woodworkers Association. By mid 2016 she had decided to pursue woodwork and was at Space Tank Studio in early 2017. She has found the move from the two-dimensional world of photography to the three dimensional world of woodwork challenging and inspiring. As a wood turner, she calls heavily upon her Japanese childhood. The sacredness and form of the bowls within her culture inform the proportions and design of the objects she turns upon her lathe.
In August 2017 she established a studio in Fawkner with two other artists. This new studio serves as the base for both Made in the Dark photography and her woodturning.