Shinki (Burning Vessel) is a new solo exhibition by wood turner and photographer Makiko Ryujin. Drawing reference from ceremonies Makiko took part in while growing up in Takasaki, Japan, Shinki explores the uncontrolled transformative nature of fire.
"The change that is bought to the bowls by fire is in stark contrast to the controlled transformation from wood to bowl on the lathe," explains Makiko. "After spending many hours working the wood into the bowl, I then must release control to fire and let go of the shape that I have created, welcoming whatever the burning brings to the vessel."
The exhibition draws from Makiko's experiences with the burning of the Daruma doll as part of new year festivities.
"Every year the residents of my neighbourhood in Takasaki would gather to burn Daruma dolls. The dolls would crack, split and distort, quickly changing to an entirely new form. This ceremony was undertaken to mark both an end and a beginning, a collective demarcation of time that provides the opportunity for plans to be reborn."
Makiko Ryukin was born in the Aizu Wakamatsu in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan, and grew up in Takasaki, Gumma, before moving to Jakarta, then Melbourne to finish her high school studies. After gaining her Bachelor of Photography degree from RMIT University, Melbourne, Makiko began studying with wood turner Carl Lutz.