Kawano was a relative newcomer to bamboo, unknown in his country and, at
45, young by Japanese standards, when he won the prestigious Cotsen Prize
For years his dream was to become a sculptor but, despite numerous tries,
he was unable to pass the entrance exams at the National Art University in
Tokyo. One day he came across a basket by the Living National Treasure
Shono Shounsai, and was so stunned by its beauty that he applied to the
highly competitive Beppu Occupational School to study bamboo. In his first
year, he was one of only 25 students to be accepted. His second year, only
five were invited to continue.
Kawano's signature technique is his open twill work, which he has improved
primarily through his own determination. His conservative approach to
artmaking involves a slow, step-by-step mastery of the intricate skills
that are integral to making the highest quality bamboo sculpture.
Kawano was he winner of the Cotsen Prize in 2002.
In 2004, he became a full member of the Japan Craft Arts Association.
His pieces are part of collections at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum
and Mint Museum.
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