Kajiwara Aya

BIO/CV

b. 1941 Sagaseki Machi, Oita prefecture, Japan

Education
  • 1959

    Graduated from Iwata Women’s High School

  • 1980

    Graduated from Oita Prefecture Beppu Occupational School, Bamboo Crafts Division


Exhibitions & Accolades
  • 1985

    Admitted to Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition,Western Division for the first time (thereafter 10 times)
    Winner of BeppuMayor’s Award at 22nd Beppu New Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 1986

    Winner of Division Chief’s Award at 21st Western Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition
    Winner of Encouragement Award at Oita Prefecture Arts Exhibition

  • 1987

    Winner of Oita City Mayor’s Award at 22nd Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division
    Winner of Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award at 24th Beppu New Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 1988

    Winner of Oita Governor’s Award at 23rd Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division

  • 1989

    Beppu Mayor’s Award at 26th Beppu New Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 1990

    Winner of Tokiwa Award at 27th Beppu New Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition
    Winner of Kagoshima Governor’s Award at 25th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division

  • 1991

    Winner of Oita Governor’s Award at 26th Western Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 1992

    Admitted to Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition for the first time (thereafter 5 times)

  • 1993

    Winner of Advancement of Traditional Craft Arts Association Award at 30th Beppu
    New Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 1994

    Winner of Advancement of Traditional Craft Arts Association Award at 31st Beppu
    New Bamboo Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 1997

    Winner of Asahi Newspaper Silver Award at 32nd Western Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 1998

    Winner of Japan Traditional Craft Arts Award at 33rd Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition Western Division

  • 1999

    Received Superior Skill Award from Mayor of Beppu

  • 2000

    First woman to become a full member of Japanese Traditional Craft Arts Association

  • 2003

    The Classic Japanese Basket, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2004

    Exhibited in the Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, VA

  • 2006

    Hin: The Quiet Beauty of Japanese Art, Grinnell College, IA and Hin: The Quiet Beauty of Japanese Art, Chicago Cultural Center, IL

  • 2010

    A Different Sensitivity: Women in Bamboo Art, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2013

    Oita’s Art Movement, in partnership with the Oita Prefectural Government, a museum-quality show, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2014

    Group show, Japanese American Cultural Community Center, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2017

    Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art, TAI Modern at Joan B Mirviss LTD, New York, NY


Museum Collections
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
    Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA


ARTIST STATEMENT

My father worked for a company and my mother was a housewife.  My mother passed away in 1962 and my father in 1972.  After graduating high school, I took a job and took care of household duties due to my mother’s death.  I married to Kajiwara Koho in 1971 and learned to craft bamboo by helping my husband.  Our work sold very well.  We had a girl in 1972 and a boy in 1974.  When our girl started her grade school, I decided to enter Beppu Vocational School to learn more of bamboo.  In 1983, encouraged by my teacher Matsuda, sixteen of us formed women’s bamboo craft association called “Kagome no Kai” and organized exhibitions.

From sometime ago, people have not been attracted by bamboo craft work for some reason.  We cannot depend upon the sales of our bamboo work now.  Consequently, many of us Kagome no Kai members take part time jobs, staying away from craft work, to compensate our reduced income.  It is too bad that our association has not been active for several years because of this.  I myself have a part time job of cleaning and cooking at a rest home.  You cannot become rich to be a bamboo craft artist.  Even your work is admitted and wins award at an exhibition; it is hard to sell your work now. I sometimes wonder about the future of this art.  You cannot win the price competition with imports; therefore, we aim to achieve artistic excellence to attract clients.  Nevertheless, it is a hard time.  People do not want to spend too much nowadays.  It was so much easier to sell before.  When I did solo exhibition before, I used to sell a lot…

I often think of not submitting to exhibitions any more.  We cannot sell anyway.  But you know, I must love crafting bamboo.  I am still weaving and plaiting bamboo at middle of the night.  To become a bamboo artist, you must love bamboo.  You cannot make that wonderful curbed line with any other materials, and that feeling when you achieved what you imagined is unforgettable.  Especially when you win an award or someone compliments your work.

What do I want express through my work?  I never thought of such thing.  I just start weaving and plaiting and make changes.  I am successful sometimes, and I am not in many times.  I think of doing something new, but it is hard to find a new direction.

  • Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art

  • Japanese Bamboo and the World Expo: A Century of Discovery

  • A Different Sensitivity: Women in Bamboo Art

  • Oita’s Art Movement

  • Oita’s Art Moment