Based in Chiba, a region across Tokyo Bay from the Japanese capital, Hafu Matsumoto produces ethereal sculptures by weaving together segments of flattened bamboo. He was trained as an apprentice by the master bamboo-weaver Iizuka Shōkansai, who was the last in the line of Japan´s most celebrated bamboo craft dynasty.
Since 1988 Matsumoto has run his own studio located amid the bamboo groves of Japan´s Boso Peninsula, where he listens to the wind blowing off the Pacific Ocean and rustling the leaves of the material he pays daily reverence to. Bamboo is unforgiving and difficult to manipulate, meaning it takes years for a craftsman to master it, and on Matsumoto´s journey his respect for the tensile and versatile plant has grown ever deeper. “Fresh, green bamboo possesses more than enough beauty on its own. I cut its life short so the least I can do is to preserve its suppleness forever by sealing it within bamboo basketry.”
He has received prizes at the 48th East Japan Craft Art Exhibition and the 61st Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition.