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Bio: Reiko Azuma: Born Kanagawa, Japan 1974. Arrived in Sydney 1990.
Reiko was always surrounded by art. Her mother Toshiko was an extensive kimono, Japanese textile and ceramic collector. She also practices Ikebana, Sado (Japanese Tea Ceremony), Taisho Goto and Shamisen player. Reiko has fond memories of visiting the studio of respected Ceramic Master Enryu with her mother. Enryu provided his seasonal works for Toshiko’s Traditional Japanese Kappo Ryori (Japanese seasonal fine dining) Restrant Bar in Tokyo. Toshiko‘s father (Reiko’s grandfather) Kinji Ichino was a leading commercial artist in Yokohama, Kanagawa in 1940’s to 1960’s, also worked as an artist and illustrator for Advisement department of Fujiya (Japanese Confectionery company) and US Army Base Publisher.
Reiko has had life changing encounters with two of her art teachers. During Reiko’s senior years at Yashio Kita Elementary School in Tokyo, Reiko encountered an art teacher/artist/writer Mr Mitsuhiro Shimizu (Currently Professor of Primary (art) education at Showa Woman’s University, leading academic on primary art education and published writer) who encouraged and nurtured Reiko’s keen interest in art. He showed her printmaking, carving, ceramics, pottery and introduced her further into the world of art. He ignited a passion for creation in her young heart. During the her years at Junshin Ladies College in Hiroo, she studied Japanese Tea Ceremony Sado under the school of Sohenryu (山田宗徧流）where she was exposed and memorised by the artistry of Wagashi (sculptured small Japanese sweets) and beauty of Tea Bowls ceramics. During her high school years in Sydney at the Emanuel College in eastern suburb of Sydney, Reiko had a great opportunity to study visual art and photography under Miss Debra Stone; an enthusiastic young photographer who graduated from New York Institute of Photography. She nurtured Reiko’s passion for art and photography, taught the traditional method of photography printing processes. She also encouraged Reiko’s Japanese heritage which come though her art. Reiko has never attended fine art tertiary education, she continues to create art to this day. Art is very much part of her life, just like eating and breathing.
“I believe there is no separation between creativity and our day to day life. We often think creativity is all about art making. But I think it is about the struggle to overcome our own fear, doubt and prejudice in day to day interaction, strive to see the infinite possibilities at the time of darkness. Overcoming the conflict between creativity and destruction within my heart can help expand my understanding of life that how everything and everyone is connected. My art is inspired by my day to day life.”
1997”into the whole- celebration of human spirit” group art exhibition, contribute artist and organiser at Disaran Art Gallery Sydney City.
2000 “Hyland Studio residence art exhibition” Camperdown
2001”Hyland Studio residence art exhibition” Camperdown
2001 “Reiko Azuma solo art exhibition”, organizer, curator, artist at Blue room art gallery Newtown
2001 Solo art exhibition at Post Café, Marrickville
2008 “Visual Connections” Group exhibition at School of Information Technologies, Sydney University. Curated by Professor Eades (The line between science, art and technology is blurred in a unique exhibition at the University of Sydney.) http://www.knesbitt.com/Exhibits/Ex008_VisualConnections_2008.pdf
2009 group art exhibition Sheffer art gallery, Darlington
2010 “Home front “group art exhibition at Sheffer Art Gallery, Darlington
2011 “Melting pot of love” charity art exhibition for tsunami victims in Japan. – contributing artist and co-organizer at Gaffa art gallery, Sydney city
2012 Group exhibition at Ashfield Tharning Villa Artist in residence.
2012 (November to Current), Exhibited and sold at “wood Paper Silk” art gallery shop. Petersham
2014 Delmar Gallery “Beastly” Group Exhibition Curated by Catherine Benz (On line exhibition of “Beastly” https://issuu.com/delmargallery/docs/beastly/43?e=0 (sculptues by reiko on page 5,7,39))
2015 Postcard exhibition Linden New Art, St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC
2015 Fishers Ghost Art Prize Finalist for Open categories, Campbelltown Arts Center
2015 Fishers Ghost Art Prize Finalist for Drawing categories, Campbelltown Arts Center
2015 Group Exhibition “Seed Pod Universe”, Organizer, Curator and Participating Artist at Sheffer Art Gallery, Darlington, NSW
2015 Stonevilla Exhibition, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Camperdown
2016 Little Creatures Exhibition at Creatory, Summer Hill
2016 Postcard exhibition Linden New Art, St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC
2016 Fishers Ghost Art Prize Finalist for Open categories, Campbelltown Arts Center
1996 Organizer and co-ordinator for the opening ceremony of photographic exhibition “Dialogue with nature” by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda at IBM building Darling Park, Sydney for SGI
1998 -2000 Designer/artistic director/contributing artist for nation-wide monthly Buddhist Magazine “Indigo” magazine – Living wisdom of Buddhism, SGI Australia
1999 “World boys’ and girls’ art exhibition” (organized by Soka Gakkai International and endorsed by UNESCO). Merchandise and promotional material designer
November 2011 – August 2012 Singer, Band leader for “Reiko Azuma Jazz trio”; residency at “Azuma Restaurant” in the city
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you can purchase her art works at Woodpapersilk gallery, 2/348 Stanmore Rd, Petersham NSW 2049, (02) 9564 6515 http://www.woodpapersilk.com.au/