The Bamboo world of Morigami Jin

The bamboo sculptures and baskets by Japanese artist Morigami Jin, are the pure demonstration of how crafts can be utilized in creating fine art, and how skills are just one component in transcending crafts. His work is so delicate, innovative, and intriguing, that I have been following him for a couple of years, just to learn that TAI Modern Gallery in Santa Fe has just opened a solo exhibition, the first in the US of Jin’s work. The only gallery in this country to represent Japanese bamboo artists, TAI Modern has acquired the expertise in this rather unique and magical form of art. Jin’s innovation has manifested in a new style of basketry, which is colorful, refined, sculptural, created in the finest skills. “In bamboo art,” he explains, “to materialize your vision you have to keep working with the medium for many years and acquire fine skills through experience. When I start a project, I have a rough idea in mind, but it really is a joint venture between the bamboo and myself.” What a poetic way to illuminate the relationship between the artist and the material. What I found mostly stunning about Morigami Jin, is that he began working with bamboo professionally over 40 years ago, and that his parents and grandparents were bamboo artisan. This is what I love about Japanese artisans, the preservation of crafts that are handed from one generation to the next.