For 40 years, Hisatomi Muan made his living making Karamono style and tea ceremony baskets. Many of his intricate works were showcased in shops and galleries selling tea ceremony artworks and items in many cities throughout Japan. His work sold well, and he was able to provide a comfortable living for his family. Though the works he made were intricate and technically masterful, these commissions were of either the historic or established styles popular among the practitioners of tea ceremony and followed the strict protocols of each school of tea ceremony.
Just a few years ago, however, he had irresistible urge to create works of his own expression. Not knowing how the art world works, he started to create his own original works and submitted them to some of the most prestigious art competitions in Japan. In 2015, he successfully showed his work at the 62nd Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition. In 2016 and 2018, his works were included in the national Wood and Bamboo Exhibitions, and he won the Tokyo Metropolitan Education Committee Prize in 2017. Last year, Hisatomi won the New Artists Prize at the 65th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, and this work was purchased by the Imperial Household Agency. This year at the 54th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Region, he once again won the prize sponsored by the Okinawa Times.
Hisatomi’s masterfully crafted work has a unique mixture of aged and contemporary feeling. Over many years of basket making, he mastered technical excellence and speed. He now uses as much time as it takes to find his theme and to craft exhibition quality works of his own.