botanical blueprints




Commelina communis L - side view - ow

Commelina communis - art by Makoto Murayama - courtesy of Frantic Gallery

Makoto Murayama is a New Media artist, with a background in computer graphics illustration. His most recent exhibition, “Inorganic Flora,” was displayed at the Frantic Gallery in Tokyo. Using cutting-edge software and 3D modeling, Murayama creates synthetic images that reveal new possibilities for botanical illustration in the Digital Age. A meditation on the margins, Inorganic Flora merges the beauty of nature with the art of scientific progress.


Murayama’s exhibition stems from the botanical illustrations of Ancient Greece as well as the sketches of Tomitaro Makino (a pioneer in Japanese botanical illustration.) His work is also inspired by Yoshihiro Inomoto — a master of automobile illustration — as well as by the art of engineering configured during the age of the Industrial Revolution, and X-ray art of the late 20 th century.

Murayama begins by making a vivisection of a flower, takes multiple close-up photos and then sketches the inner cavity of each flower. Afterwards, he uses several different software programs: 3ds Max for form and structure; Adobe Photoshop for separate parts and composition; and Adobe Illustrator to add indications of elements, scale and scientific names.

Finally, Murayama makes large-scale digital c-prints, and frames each with transparent Plexiglas.


Text by Beth Lauck.




Macoto Murayama Southern star - 27685 - Pureblue - ˙A - bc 50.8Å~50.8cm 2011 & Rose-˙A-w

Southern star - 27685 - Pureblue - ˙A - art by Makoto Murayama - courtesy of Frantic Gallery



Macato Murayama - Transvaal daisy - Chrysanthemum-B

Transvaal daisy - Chrysanthemum-B - art by Makoto Murayama - courtesy of Frantic Gallery


Sweet pea-˙B-bc & Japanese lily-˙C-wc

Sweet pea-˙B-bc & Japanese lily-˙C-wc art by Makoto Murayama - courtesy of Frantic Gallery