Mako miyamoto

tales from the post-factual grassland

The term Americana is an ever evolving one since it combines basically everything which somehow defines the cultural heritage of the United Staes; a continuous stream of consciousness where the line between facts, fiction and dreams is a consciously blurry one, as there are no boundaries as to where it can go. The last decades in particular rumbled past with rapid speed since pop culture simply refuses to pause and take a deep breath even for a minute,  thereby adding a unique anything goes vibe to the classic Americana swag. Portland-based artist/photographer Mako Miyamoto is very much aware of that since he playfully draws from the full source of inspiration while marrying the absurd with the overall beautiful within a narrative where daredevils, Wookies, muscle cars and sci-fi drones form the next chapter of a universe he calls “Neon Werewolf“. Lodown hooked up with the very talented Mr. Miyamoto in early February.


“I have always been fascinated by the magic and beauty of film since I was a child. The locations, colors, and characters drew me into another place entirely; creating a world where anything was possible. Distant planetary systems, flying saucers, monsters under the bed, Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle, and falling off the edge of the world were a few of the things that mesmerized me growing up. As an adult, I have worked to recapture that magic of my youth and share that vision with the world. ...

I have been developing the Neon Werewolf universe over the past several years, and my last show “Further West“ was the most extensive exploration of that world. I've developed the world through stills on my Instagram, as well as through a choose your own adventure interactive film and digital experience around a character I created named Frank Aberdeen. The planning and pre-production before I shoot my first image can range from a few weeks to seven or eight months, which was the case for the “Further West“ show. I first work to establish the story, narrative, mood, and characters, then delve into the wardrobe, location, and lighting. After all of that is established and laid out, I'll finally head out and capture the story. ...

Neon Werewolf emerged from a combination of my love of vivid color and the incredible mood and feelings it can evoke, and werewolves, which have always fascinated me... and I'm sure are lurking somewhere in the dark corners of the world. The merging of the two creates a juxtaposition that leaves the door open for an array of wildly different and bizarrely fantastic interpretations.
Working at creative bureau Roundhouse has been a huge inspiration for my creative projects. At Roundhouse I am surrounded by a group of extremely talented and brilliant people who have been inspiration for a lot of the parts and pieces of my work. From my nine years at the company I have had the opportunity to work with some truly gifted creatives, designers, and photographers, and from them have learned the skills and techniques that have allowed me to create the work I do.
I am currently working on a solo show at Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland, Oregon that will open this upcoming November. For the show, I've been playing around the idea of incorporating stills and video with an interactive digital element... so stay tuned!“




words: Forty