For 40 years, Hisatomi Muan made his living from commissions of Karamono-style and tea ceremony baskets. His intricate works, showcased in shops and galleries throughout Japan, sold well enabling him to provide a comfortable living for his family. Though technically masterful, the commissioned baskets were invariably based on either historic or established styles that followed the strict protocols of each tea ceremony school. Hisatomi began to feel limited and yearned to express his ideals in his work.
Even though he was unfamiliar with the art world, he submitted his bamboo creations to some of the most prestigious art competitions in Japan, including the 62nd Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition and the 2016 and 2018 national Wood and Bamboo Exhibitions. In 2017, he was awarded the Tokyo Metropolitan Education Committee Prize. Last year, he took home the New Artists Prize at the 65th Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition and was honored to have the piece purchased by the Imperial Household Agency. This year, at the 66th Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition Western Region, he was once again awarded this prestigious prize sponsored by the Okinawa Times.
Hisatomi’s unique work beautifully fuses contemporary design with historic artistic references. The time he spent over the years mastering technical excellence is now being put to use creating and developing themes for his work and crafting superb award-winning pieces.