Omamori Totem 1, 2022
Acrylic and oil stick on canvas
About the Artist
Makiko Harris (b.1989, USA/Japan) makes mixed media paintings, sculptures, and installations that incorporate light and objects imbued with personal memory. The work is closely tied to Makiko's own body through its large scale and physically demanding process of creation. The labour of Makiko's practice includes building, stretching, scraping, flooding, staining, smearing, and forging. "I am half Japanese and half American, and from San Francisco, CA. I was born in The Netherlands, and have lived in Tokyo, Boston, New York, and California. My work has been collected by individuals internationally, is featured in corporate collections in the U.S., and has been licensed to Fortune-500 businesses. I am currently a master’s candidate in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art, and live and work in London, UK. With theory rooted in my background in feminist philosophy, my work asks: How resilient is the body? What can we learn from embodied knowledge and the subconscious? How do we acknowledge physical and emotional vulnerability while boldly being open for the present Through a use of colour that references my own body’s pigmentation and media that connect to my personal history such as hair or artefacts like my grandmother’s knitting needles, I explore an abstracted concept of the self. Based on my own multiracial background, I push back on overt identity categorization and instead embrace what I believe is a more generative space of multiplicity and ambiguity. For example, my paintings are intentionally and necessarily abstract, even if through colour and form they reference my body and cultural identity."