Makoto Ambo



Japanese washi paper, Japanese Sumi ink
20.87 x 20.87 inches
2022, original
$2,000 (without frame)

Makoto Ambo was born in Saroma, a town on the north coast of Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido, in 1962. He moved to Chitose City where he grew up, and also met Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido.

Makoto has been captivated by calligraphy and painting since childhood, and in 1981 he entered the Graphic Design Department of Hokkaido College of Art and Design. In 1993, wanting to learn more design, he became a freelance designer, and entered into a two-year contract with POLO B.C.S, designing logos and making cut-and-sew designs. In 1995 he became a master instructor at Nihon Shodo Hyoronsha, an association in Hokkaido for the promotion and study of calligraphy.

In 1996, observing and taking advantage of ink’s propensity to bleed, Makoto discovered a completely new technique of ink painting that does not leave brush lines. Japan’s national broadcasting company, NHK, introduced Makoto and his unprecedented technique on television as the “New Japanese Ink Painting.” After that, he has worked as a modern Japanese black ink artist in Japan. Using Japanese paper and ink, he paints dragons and Mt. Fuji in ways that express the beauty of ink painting and the uniqueness of Japan, and he paints works with themes of environmental protection that also respect Ainu culture, such as owls and forests. In addition, since 2018 he has been active painting cats with the theme of “zero killing” as part of cat protection activities

From 2008 to 2019 Makoto has held a solo exhibition at the fashionable, upmarket Japanese department store Mitsukoshi in Sapporo. In 2010 he won the Japan-France Contemporary Art World Exhibition Award, and in 2019 he was selected for the 230th edition of Le Salon de la Société des Artistes Français to be held at the Grand Palais on the Champs-Élysées, Paris in February 2020. In 2022, he also won the 16th JCAT Gallery Award at the exhibition NEW.

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