About Maki Horanai

“People often tell me that my work is like a portal into another world for them. I don’t know exactly about this myself. I’m not painting another world; I’m painting my world. Inside this world, nothing large happens, just small quiet moments and movements. Like riplets of water spreading softly across a lake. A small drop, like a glimmer of hope, can have a big effect.” Maki Horanai

Maki - Maki HoranaiMaki Horanai is a painter, designer and ceramic artist. Her works depict the whimsical and the magical. The beauty in ‘the small’ and ‘the quiet’. The delicacy and intimacy of hope. They show a realm that exists both nowhere and everywhere, in the real world and in our dreams. With incredible skill and attention to detail, Maki’s sublime depiction of the human experience affects deeply all those who have the chance to view her works.

Born in Japan, Maki Horanai grew up in a small seaside village in Hokkaido in northern Japan. As a child, she often sat or played on the beach and these experiences and early influences – the ocean, the shore, the birds and islands that she saw both in reality and in her imagination – played an important part in her early works. Having begun painting in high school, Maki continued to college and graduate school where she was strongly influenced by the colours and themes of western religious and iconic art.

Maki’s works have been exhibited widely in Japan and Australia. Both locally and internationally, she has amassed a loyal following for her beautiful art. Maki currently lives and works on Tamborine Mountain in South East Queensland. With partner Hillel Weintraub, they established the ‘Mountain Dreams Gallery’. The couple were attracted to Tamborine Mountain, the beauty of the natural landscape and the strong, close-knit artistic community. For the past several years, they have been facilitating art and poetry workshops for the Mt Tamborine and wider community from their home and studio.

“I try to find attractive movements and patterns from nature and our lives: rocks, clouds, the sky, a house, the moon, a tree; they make unusual shapes that emerge on my canvases in an unreal or other-worldly way. My paintings look to others like a dream or fantasy, but I always want my art to relate to our real world.” Maki Horanai

Maki - Maki in studio

“My work has been strongly influenced by the nature of my childhood. I grew up in snowy villages along the sea coast in northern Japan. The severe power of the ocean, together with the pure, clean, quiet atmosphere are deeply embedded in my memory. When I was sleeping, the sound of waves was always in my ears. Away from city lights and tall buildings, the stars and moon were always present overhead at night. I adore the gold background of old paintings of both the east and west, and, as I started to paint, elements of this style surfaced in my work. The works of Giotto (14th century), Fra Angelico (15th century) and Kano Eitoku (16th century) have particularly impressed me. I’m not consciously aware of the meaning of my paintings as I work. If I know it, then probably I can’t paint. Towards the end of each painting, stories make themselves known to me.” Maki Horanai