Makiko Nakamura (b 1951) is an abstract painter, who attended art school in Japan. In 1999, she made the decision to move to Dublin where she lived and worked until 2013, taking Irish citizenship in 2011. During this time she developed the process which has directed her painting ever since. Nakamura begins with simple, repetitive geometric shapes or grids which gradually dissappear as she builds up each layer of paint; when complete, she then reverses the process, slowly sanding away the paint surface to try and find the starting grid, on the way creating a new surface made up of scratches and traces of colour from every layer of the work.
The fourteen years Nakamura spent in Ireland were immensely important in her development as a painter and when she returned to Japan she left behind one of her most important paintings with the Irish Museum of Modern Art and two major commissions for the Gate Theatre. Three years after her return to Kyoto and living in her studio, Nakamura continues to follow the same, highly disciplined routine, painting all day, every day. Having not lived in Japan for over twenty years she knows no-one in Kyoto and has few distractions – the central importance of painting in her life that she first discovered as a child has now become a daily devotion. Nakamura’s paintings develop slowly, demanding all her time and all her attention.