Ambo Makoto Profile


 

Makoto Ambo

 

Contemporary Japanese Black-Ink Artist

 

 

 Profile

 

 1962          Born in Saroma Town of Tokoro-gun, Hokkaido and grew up in Chitose

 

1981-1983  Attended and graduated Hokkaido Institute of Design’s Department of Graphic Design

 

1993-1996   POLO BCS Sapporo’s exclusive designer

 

1994            Began working artistically with a unique self-taught method of “bleeding” Japanese black ink

 

1995            With the foundation of his unique style of ink-bleed art in place, attention from NHK Sapporo and other mass media began bringing public recognition

 

1996            Established both domestically and internationally as a notable contemporary Japanese black-ink artist

 

2001            Designed Hokkaido International Airlines’ AIR DO Party 2001 logo

 

 

 

Makoto Ambo has been actively involved in solo exhibitions, seminars and workshops throughout Japan as a contemporary Japanese black-ink artist, calligrapher, designer and poet. Inspired by the Ainu culture, he is well known for artwork in the kotan-kor-kamuy—Blakiston's fish owlmotif. He is also an instructor of calligraphy with Nihon Shodo Hyoronsha and a member of the Hokkaido Design Association.

 

 

 

 

https://www.ambomakoto.com

 

 

 

 Major Award History

 

 

 1995            10th Hokkaido Calligraphers Exhibition, Encouragement Award (Hokkaido Calligraphers Association)

 

1996            19th National Art Exhibition, Excellent Work Award (Tokyo International Association of Artists)

 

2007            76th Sakujitsukai Exhibition, Selected (Sakujitsukai Artists Association)

 

2007          11th National Kimono Design Competition, Japan Silk Industry Association Award (Japan Textile Dyeing Joint Association)

 

2008          12th National Kimono Design Competition, Selected (Japan Textile Dyeing Joint Association)

 

2008           Tokyo Ginza Music Beer Hall Lion 20th Anniversary Song Lyrics Section, Grand Prize (Tokyo Beer Plaza Lion)

 

2010          14th National Kimono Design Competition, Selected (Japan Textile Dyeing Joint Association)

 

2010            11th Exposition l’Art Actuel France-Japon, Exposition l’Art Actuel France-Japon Award (Club des Amis de l’Europe et des Arts)

 

2013           Setsuryosha Florence Exhibition, Selected (Setsuryosha Museum of Art)

2017    NEKOISM 2017, Excellence Award (NEKO-EXPO)                  

 

 

 

 

 Major Solo Exhibitions

 

 

 1996   Playing with Japanese Black Ink Exhibition, Royton Sapporo Gallery Salud (Sapporo International Arts Association, Sapporo, Japan)

 

1998   Owls and Forest Exhibition, Mitsukoshi Sky Gallery (Sapporo Mitsukoshi Department Store, Chitose, Japan)

 

1999   Owls and Forest Exhibition, Tokyu Art Gallery (2000 & 2007, Kitami Tokyu Department Store, Kitami, Japan)

 

2001   Makoto Ambo Exhibition, Yume Otaru Art Museum (Yume Otaru Art Museum, Otaru, Japan)

 

2004   Makoto Ambo Exhibition, Kobe Daimaru Art Gallery (2005 & 2007, Daimaru Kobe Department Store, Kobe, Japan)

 

2007   Makoto Ambo Exhibition, Roppongi Hills umuSanwa Giken, Inc., Tokyo, Japan

 

2008   Makoto Ambo Exhibition, Sapporo Mitsukoshi Art Gallery (2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2017 & 2019, Sapporo Mitsukoshi Department Store, Sapporo, Japan)

 

2008   Makoto Ambo Hometown Exhibition, Saroma Town Center~2019, Saroma Town Board of Education, Saroma, Japan

 

2018   Makoto Ambo Exhibition, DIAROOM (Environment Network, Osaka, Japan)

 

2018   Makoto Ambo Exhibition, Omotesando Hills Gallery WAKO (Environment Network, Tokyo, Japan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Major Group Exhibitions

 

 

 1997   Instigator of A Street Corner Canvas Exhibition, Sapporo Art Park (Sapporo Art Park, Sapporo, Japan)

 

1999   Northern Design Exhibition, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art (Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan)

 

2000   GCC International Art Exhibition, War Memorial of Korea (2007 & 2009, GCC, Korea)

 

2000   Finland International Art Exhibition, Virastoalon Gallerir (KCAA, Finland)

 

2000   Seoul International Art Festival, Kwanghwamun Gallery (KCAA, Korea)

 

2002    Universal Communication Art Festival in Sapporo, Sapporo Art Park (Sapporo Art Park, Sapporo, Japan)

 

2007   International Art Festival, Chosunilbo Art Museum2009, ICAA, Korea

 

2010   11th Exposition l’Art Actuel France-Japon, Aoyama Spiral Hall (Club des Amis de l’Europe et des Arts, Tokyo, Japan)

 

2010   41st Exposition d’art Contemporain Japonais, Chateau de I'Hermine (Club des Amis de l’Europe et des Arts, France)

 

2011   12th Exposition l’Art Actuel France-Japon, Aoyama Spiral Hall (Club des Amis de l’Europe et des Arts, Tokyo, Japan)

 

2011   43rd Arte En Manos Japonesas, Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center (Club des Amis de l’Europe et des Arts, Mexico)

 

2012   Artexpo New York 2012, Pier 92 (Redwood Media Group, USA)

 

2013   Flanders Expo Gent Belgium 2013, Gent (Art Gent, Belgium)

 

2014   Sapporo Design Festa, Sapporo (Hokkaido Design Association, Sapporo, Japan)

 

2015   The Origin of Beauty Exhibition, Tokyo (The Origin of Beauty, Tokyo, Japan)

 

2017   NEKOISM 2017 Exhibition, Kamakura (NEKO-EXPO, Kamakura, Japan)

 

2019   1st Festival d’Art Sacré de Senlis (Les Poissons du Ciel, France)

 

2019   Marugoto Neko Festival 2019 (Hanshin Department Store Umeda Main Store, Osaka, Japan)

 

2019   Marugoto Neko Festival 2019 in Kobe (Hanshin Department Store Umeda Main Store, Kobe, Japan)

 

2019   Marugoto Neko Festival 2019 in Hakata (Hanshin Department Store Umeda Main Store, Hakata, Japan)

 

2019   iPhone Design Contest, Japan Festa (Japan Art Business Association, France)

 

 

 

 

Reasons behind Makoto Ambo’s Passion for Kotan-Kor-Kamuy

 

 

The indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido call the Blakiston's fish owl kotan-kor-kamuy and worship them as their paramount god. A native son of Hokkaido, Makoto Ambo recognizes that no discussion of Japan can be complete without consideration of the Ainu culture and has therefore dedicated himself to making the endangered Blakiston's fish owl his lifelong motif in tribute. His art has also led him to ponder and reconsider such diverse issues as man’s coexistence with nature, the environment, racial discrimination, utopian society, the meaning of life and our reason for being. The Ainu culture has thus become an integral part of his art and is an identity that Ambo cherishes.

 

 

Art in Action

 

 

Techniques and Characteristics of Bleed Pictures

 


 1.Water is dripped so as to increase surface tension.

 

2. Black ink is placed to create shadows and lines.

 

 

3.The amount of black ink is adjusted.

4.Excessive water is absorbed and drawn away.


 

    Depth and solidity can be depicted by repeating this process over and over after drying.

 

 

Makoto Ambo’s innovative, unique bleeding technique is completely different from traditional wet-in-wet drawing methods. Generally, bleeding refers to how water or ink seeps into textiles, whereas Ambo creates bleeding within individual drops of water and then lets the ink settle and affix to the paper. However, the most significant difference that distinguishes his work is that it embraces a time-consuming, repetitive process with multiple layers of bleeding. This unique process creates shadows and sense of solidity even as it maintains transparency, which all contradict traditional Japanese black-ink drawings. This feature forms the essence of Makoto Ambo’s deep, mysterious world of black and white. In addition, even though it is a bleeding technique, delicate details are expressed so clearly and sharply that his works are often mistaken for prints. Makoto Ambo’s bleeding works of art are thus truly unique and unrivaled by any other type of black-ink drawing.

 

 

 

                                                Mitsuhiro Kondo

 

                                                Art Writer