Fujinuma Noboru's early interests were photography and engineering. At 27, he traveled to Paris and returned home intent on studying traditional Japanese arts. Shortly thereafter, he quit his job at Nikon to apprentice with the respected bamboo basket maker Yagisawa Keizo.
For half-a-dozen years, he struggled to execute his design ideas because he lacked confidence in his technique. This changed by 1992 when, his reputation growing, he received the Tokyo Governor's Prize at the 39th Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition. His winning piece was purchased by the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.
"What is art? What is the criteria for art?," he muses. "Not many people in Japan can answer this question clearly. For me, art is not just about the surface. It's something invisible that speaks to the viewer."
A finalist for the Cotsen Bamboo Prize in 2000, Fujinuma plays tennis, studies English, and works in his garden at home near Tokyo. In addition to exhibitions of his work in numerous art museums, Fujinuma was featured in a solo show in 2005 at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles. His pieces are part of collections at the Ruth and Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art in Hanford, California and the Denver Art Museum.
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