One of the most artistically gifted of the younger generation of Japanese
bamboo artists, Morigami's parents are both bamboo artisans who work
commercially. When he enrolled at the Beppu Occupational School he had a
solid foundation in bamboo.
His graduation was fortuitously timed. The Japanese economy was strong and
his gentle, delicate designs had broad appeal for decorating modern
apartments. For a time, he had so many department store orders that he
employed several young assistants. A fine designer and craftsman, Morigami
is credited with introducing a new style of bamboo basketry to the Beppu market.
As a young artist he submitted his work to Nitten and, in a highly unusual
process, was accepted without having to advance through the interim stages.
The resentment that ensued from more senior artists contributed to his
decision to end his involvement with Japan's public exhibition system.
By the time his work was introduced to collectors in the United States, he
was so consumed with earning a living for his family that he had given up
creating new pieces. Today, Western interest has breathed new life into
his career. Since 2005, when his work was accepted in Nitten, the artist
has enjoyed renewed success in Japan and abroad. He is working on a series
of topography-themed sculpture made in a style of hexagonal plaiting that
is a radical departure from the traditional.
In 2004, Morigami was a finalist for the prestigious Cotsen Prize. His pieces are part of collections at the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Art and Design in New York City, and are the first from a contemporary bamboo artist to be added to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts permanent collection.
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