Maki Kaoru

Maki Kaoru explores perceptual responses to natural phenomena by destabilizing the notion of visual reality. Using photography and installation, she works on the idea of redefining and transforming the natural phenomena through direct and sensory experience. 

Exhibitions include the Tucson Museum of Art, Lite-Haus Galerie, Ise Cultural Foundation, and Harvard University, to name a few. Awards and residency programs include Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Hyeres Festival de Photograhie, SIM Residency, and The Scandinavian- Japan Sasakawa Foundation. I was commissioned to produce a 265 foot-long public artwork for Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in New York.

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Above and Below: Between Mirrors, 2015, Digital C print on Fujiflex, 30 x 40 in 

"The core issue of my work is an exploration of perceptual responses to natural phenomena. Using photography, video, and installation, I am working on the idea of redefining and transforming the natural phenomena through perceptual and direct experience. Perceptual anomalies, such as light, water, reflective surfaces, and the ways in which they can transform the visual environment, are the main subjects of my work.


I explore how perceptual experience relates to the act of gazing. I am interested in natural phenomena, which calls for the immediate response of gaze. Because it’s the ephemeral nature of the gaze, the moment of perceiving the experience of gazing becomes even more fleeting than the act itself. After all, the gaze is no longer seeing through eyes but experiencing it through seeing. 
Windows are seductive and deceptive. While a window glass separates inside from outside architecturally, it alienates subject from object, which creates a paradoxical illusion. The reflection in a window, which produces an inverse of the image, further deceives. Such perceptual shifts are characteristic of my creative practice, which destabilizes the viewer’s notion of visual reality."

-Maki Kaoru 

Lost in Gaze, 2008-2019, Digital C Print on Metallic Paper

New Windows, 2020, Archival Pigment Print on Metallic paper, 8.5 x 11 in

Using Format