A myriad of influences and elements are used in the intricate and delicate work of the Japanese artist, Maki Hamada. She uses a number of techniques, such as hiragana, cut-out paper, buttons and felt to express themes related to fantasy and reality and light and dark. Insects and flowers often feature in Maki's paintings.
In 2014, Maki stated the following to Art in Healthcare: 'I’m interested in looking at children’s books that include fantasy and a dark side, such as books like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Witches, and Harry Potter. These stories are dreamy and fantastic, but on the other hand, they are scary and strange. I want to link up two opposing things like reality and fantasy, dream and nightmare. Fred Tomaselli is an artist who uses these themes. His work has lots of pretty and beautiful patterns, but it is also unconventional and shocking.
Chris Ofili is also an artist I’m looking at. His works are beautiful, however, he uses elephant excrement in his work. I think his work is visually attractive, but when you look closer, the materials he uses are unconventional.
This year (2014), I’m looking at folk tales and legends about ancient trees and their spirits; I'm creating black and white drawings that seem initially to represent one image but on close inspection have many details and visual layers that add complexity, both thematic and formal to the work. I’m trying to combine unconventional materials like letters, marks, eyes and insects to make patterns.'
Maki is currently based in her hometown of Fukuoka, having lived in the UK for six years, studying at Camberwell College of Arts in London and Edinburgh College of Art, graduating with a First Class Degree in 2007.