Maki Tamura

December 2, 2010- January 15, 2011

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present our second solo exhibition by Maki Tamura. For over the past ten years, the artist has been using watercolor on paper to merge cultures through their decorative artistic traditions. The show will consist of constructed drawings and hanging sculptures that explore motifs found in 18th and 19th century European decorative arts. The artist also fabricated wall paper the will be applied to the gallery walls as a foil to the two and three dimensional work. The wallpaper with burnt edges and irregular shapes creates an atmosphere of decay emphasizing a history or a glimpse into a bygone era.

Tamura objects are philosophical incursions into the nature of representation and history. In her previous work the artist with her intensive technique of cutting, folding and gluing paper, created over the top baroque construction. The new work uses the vocabulary of past work but now there is more openness which allows for the small details to take the forefront. The picture frame is presented as a recurrent motif throughout the installation. The artist mines its historical role, its visual and conceptual possibilities from a contemporary point of view. Tamura subverts the hierarchical relationship between picture frames and their interior by crafting the entire object out of paper and blurs the distinction between drawing and sculpture. The viewer is now asked to fill in and participate in constructing the narrative. The images tend to focus on the flora and fauna of the natural environment as seen through the Victorian Age of Discovery.

Maki Tamura was born in 1973 in Kyoto, Japan and lives and works in Seattle. Tamura received her MFA from the Tyler School of Art in 1999 and her BFA from the University of Washington in 1996. Her work has recently been featured in group in Europe and the United States. She has had solo exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, and galleries in New York, Rome, Italy and Lüneburg, Germany.

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