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Junko Azukawa grew up in Toyama, Japan at the base of the central Japanese Alps, a region famous for the natural beauty of its landscape.

 

She started learning traditional Japanese calligraphy - Shodo at the age of five and has experienced the vast possibilities that calligraphy and Japanese ink painting - Sumie can express with just simple monotone brush strokes.

Junko’s calligraphy teacher Shiro Aoyagi, the founder of the Hokuriku Shodo Academy and also one of Japan’s most respected calligraphy masters, demonstrated his artwork at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia in 2008 and his work is now represented in the NGV’s collection.

 

Since becoming a resident of Melbourne, Australia in 2005, Junko has brought her unique artistic talents and outlook to the Australian art scene. She started teaching Japanese calligraphy and painting with children and adults at numerous schools and organisations and also exhibited at a number of galleries in Australia and Japan. One of her artworks is also now in the NGV’s collection. In 2011 Junko started to use her art form with mental illness patients as a form of therapy with great compassion. She is also sought after in commercial design work for her skilful brushwork from bottle label and package design to restaurant murals. She has had her illustrations published in the novel; NAVIGATIO authored by Australian writer Patrick Holland in 2014.

 

Junko is committed to sharing her Japanese culture in Australia. Together with a lifelong study of traditional calligraphy and ink painting, Junko has found peace and appreciation deep within and loves sharing with her audience the intimate relationship between mother nature and human nature through her brush.

Professional experience

2017 - present Melbourne Art Class - Art teacher.

2015 - present Living & Learning Nillumbik - Art teacher.
2012 - present Princes Hill Community Centre - Art teacher.
2011 - 2013 Community Mental Health - Art therapist.
2009 - present Box Hill Community Arts Centre - Art teacher.
2008 - 2010 Centre for Adult Education - Art teacher.
2005 - present SUMIDO Japanese Ink Art and Experience - Artist.

Public collection & commission

National Gallery of Victoria - "Bamboo grove and the dragonfly", 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Stokehouse St Kilda Beach - Mural artwork, 30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda, VIC, Australia. 

Giorgios Restaurant Cafe Bar - Mural artwork, High St & Glenferrie Rd, Armadale, VIC, Australia.

The Main Cafe - Mural artwork, 5/906 Main Rd, Eltham, VIC, Australia.

The East Pantry cafe restaurant - Mural artwork, 14 Centreway, Keilor East, VIC, Australia.

Man Mo Chinese seafood restaurant - Mural artwork, Shops G13-G15, WTC Wharf Precinct,18-38 Siddeley St, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Teppankai Japanese restaurant - Mural artwork, 30 Bray St, South Yarra, VIC, Australia.

Urban Grooves Lounge Cafe - Mural artwork, 99 Grimshaw St, Greensborough, VIC, Australia.

Max on Hardware Pizzeria Bar Restaurant - Mural artwork, 54-58 Hardware Lane, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Fuso - calligraphy and illustration for associated advertising material.

KIRIN Cider - Calligraphy and illustration for label design and associated advertising.
KIRIN Beer - Sumi brush artwork for KIRIN identity and label design.

Sun Rice - Calligraphy and illustrations for package design and catalogue.
RUNNING HORSE Winery
Hunter Valley - Illustrations for label design.

DAIWA FOOD - Calligraphy for Takuan pickles and Go rice package design.

NAVIGATIO by Patrick Holland - Book illustrations. ISBN: 9781921924774
LEXUS - Calligraphy for 2011 product catalogue.

Exhibitions (solo*)

Oct - Nov 2022 "Spirit of Sumi ink" Consulate-General of Japan, Melbourne, Australia.*

Jul - Aug 2022 "Tojiki & Sumi-s" YAVA Gallery & Arts Hub, Healesville, Australia.

May 2022 "The wisdom of animals & nature", Box Hill Community Arts Centre, Box Hill, Australia.*

Mar - May 2022 "Kotodama", Art Gallery 275, Ivanhoe, Australia.

Oct - Nov 2019 "Spring", Heathcote Contemporary Art, Heathcote, Australia.

Oct - Nov 2019 "The instant <<O>> - Mushin", Upstairs 22 Gallery, Castlemaine, Australia.

Mar - May 2018 "in conTEXT", Hatch Contemporary Arts Space, Melbourne.

Nov - Dec 2017 "Creation in Earth and Water", East and West Art, Melbourne.

Oct – Dec 2017 "Works on Paper", Hatch Contemporary Arts Space, Melbourne.

Aug - Sep 2017 Consulate-General of Japan, Melbourne, Australia.

Aug - Sep 2016 "in memory of Hiroshima Peace Day", St Michael’s Gallery, Melbourne.*

July 2016 - Feb 2017 "Bamboo", National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

June - July 2016 Montsalvat Gallery, Melbourne.

Nov 2015 - Jan 2016 Consulate-General of Japan, Melbourne, Australia.*

Oct 2015 "Sound of Japanese Ink", Eltham Library community Gallery, Australia. *

April - May 2015 Asahi presents "Power of Japanese Art", No Vacancy Gallery, Australia.

Aug - Sep 2014 Teppankai Japanese Restaurant, Melbourne, Australia.*

April 2014 Box Hill Community Arts Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

Jan 2013 Consulate-General of Japan, Melbourne, Australia.*

Sept 2010 “Notes from the heart”, Kazari Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.*

Oct 2009 "GO FONT YOUR SELF", KIRIN Presents Exhibition, DONT COME, Melbourne, Australia.

June 2009 "GO FONT YOUR SELF", KIRIN Presents Exhibition, Peer Gallery, Sydney, Australia.

June - Sep 2009 "me and my TOYOTA", Toyota Community Spirit Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

June 2009 Australia on Collins, Melbourne, Australia.

May 2009 Box Hill Community Arts Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

Mar - Apr 2009 Consulate-General of Japan, Melbourne, Australia.*

Feb - Mar 2009 “Women's Salon: Stories of Hope”, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

Feb - Mar 2009 “Linden Postcard Show”, Linden Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

Dec 2008 - Feb 2009 “Fresh Edges: Timeless Pieces”, Kazari Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

Nov 2008 Hokuriku Calligraphy Exhibition, Toyama, Japan.

Sep - Oct 2008 Consulate-General of Japan, Melbourne, Australia.

Jul 2008 “Shikai - Fields of Vision”, Fad Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

Jun - Jul 2008 “Making Marks” exhibition, Kazari Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

Apr 2008 “Art Melbourne” with Kazari Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

Dec 2007 Jiyu-Kan Selected Calligraphy Exhibition, Toyama, Japan.

Nov 2007 Hokuriku Calligraphy Exhibition, Toyama, Japan.

May - Jun 2007 Consulate-General of Japan, Melbourne, Australia.*

Nov 2006 Hokuriku Calligraphy Exhibition, Toyama, Japan.

Sep 2006 Australia on Collins, Melbourne, Australia.

Feb 2006 Kokoro Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.*

June 2005 Jiyu-Kan Selected Calligraphy Exhibition, Toyama, Japan.

May 2005 Women’s Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition, Toyama, Japan

Media

Jun 2018 "The creatives keeping Japan's inspiring artisan culture alive" The Sydney Morning Herald.

Jun 2015 "Power of Japanese Art" Nichigo Press.
Aug 2014 "Junko Azukawa Art Exhibition" Nichigo Press.
May 2013 "Natural monument to cool restaurant" AGE.
Jan 2010 "Junko Azukawa Interview", GO GO Melbourne.
Nov 2009 "Junko Azukawa Interview", JAMS.TV.
Oct 2009 "Junko Azukawa Interview", KIRIN presents GO FONT UR SELF*.
May 2009 "Join in Matsudo Week celebrations", Whitehorse News.
Nov 2008 "The Art of the Brush: Australian Artists & the Painting Tradition of the East"
        Essay by Dr Gary Hickey, University of Melbourn.

8 Jul 2008 "Japanese Artist's Master Stroke", Moreland Community News.

Residency & Awards

Mar 2021 Artist in residence, Ivanhoe Library & Cultural Hub, Melbourne, Australia. 

Nov 2008 North Japan Press Prize - Hokuriku Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition, Japan.
Nov 2007 Best New Artist Prize - Hokuriku Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition, Japan.
Nov 2006 Selected Prize - Hokuriku Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition, Japan.