Maki Horanai


Artist Bio

Maki Horanai was born in Japan and presently lives in South East Queensland, Australia . She grew up in small seaside villages in Hokkaido, northern Japan, where she often sat or played along the beach.

Maki’s early influences were the ocean, the shore, the birds and islands she saw both in reality and in her imagination. She began painting in high school and continued through college and graduate school where she was strongly influenced by the colours and themes of western religious/iconic art.

Maki has exhibited widely in Japan and Australia , always affecting people who “see” her art deeply. Maki’s paintings show a world that exists both nowhere and everywhere, in the real world and in our dreams. They display a combination of oriental and western sensibilities and defy single term categories. (bio)

Artist Statement

My work has been strongly influenced by the nature of my childhood. I grew up in snowy villages along the sea coast in northern Japan. The severe power of the ocean, together with the pure, clean, quiet atmosphere are deeply embedded in my memory. When I was sleeping, the sound of waves was always in my ears. Away from city lights and tall buildings, the stars and moon were always present overhead at night.

I adore the gold background of old paintings of both the east and west, and, as I started to paint, elements of this style surfaced in my work. The works of Giotto (14th century), Fra Angelico (15th century) and Kano Eitoku (16th century) have particularly impressed me.

I’m not consciously aware of the meaning of my paintings as I work. If I know it, then probably I can’t paint. Towards the end of each painting, stories make themselves known to me.

Maki Horanai on The Escape Into Life Arts Store

Maki Horanai at Mountain Dreams

Maki Horanai at Marks and Gardner Gallery

Maki Horanai at Paintbox Fine Art




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  • Wendy

    I was at her home based art gallery/studio in the Tamborine mountains a few days ago and I was enchanted by her artworks, especially those in which it had medieval inspired characters. They looked as if it was a slice of another universe, so serene and calming to your hearts.