Akio Makigawa is remembered for his contemplative Zen-like works constructed from primary materials, including stone, steel and wood. One of the defining characteristics of his art, which presents a juxtaposition of elements and a unique sculptural language, is a balance between physicality and inner tranquillity. Makigawa was a kind and generous man whose practice drew on his enormous creative energy and deep-rooted Japanese cultural tradition.

Makigawa was born in Japan and prior to his death in 1999, at just fifty-one years of age, had established a respected position as an important sculptor in this country. His work is held in major public and private collections throughout Australia, and examples of his public commissions can be seen in prominent civic locations in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Akio Makigawa: Spirit and Memory, installed in the foyer galleries of NGV Australia, has been developed in close collaboration with the late artist’s partner, prominent jeweller Carlier Makigawa. Akio and Carlier met in Perth in 1976 as art students and shared a special closeness from the time they first met until Akio’s death. The exhibtion presents a selection of works by Akio drawn from Carlier’s collection – some of which have never been exhibited publicly before.