Morigami Jin (b. 1955)

Flower Basket
c. 1982
40 x 18 x 18 cm
15 ¾ x 7 ¼ x 7 ¼ inches
Box signed and sealed by Morigami Jin
Sealed wrapping cloth, additional protective paper box
An utterly unique and very early experimental work by one of the most esteemed contemporary bamboo artists. Created when the artist was in his middle 20s, this basket has been out of view since then and thus remains strikingly innovative even despite three decades of intense creativity in the field.

Working in his spare time (as he was then engaged in commercial production basketry), Jin composed this extremely suggestive abstract hanging basket of three distinct layers. A tulip-shaped mat plaited basket is suspended within and supported by an exterior structure of ara-ami (coarsely or freely woven) honey-colored madake. Several strands from this external layer wind through the rim of the middle to form a nearly invisible hexagonally plaited interior third layer. Gaps in the cocoon-like coarse external weaving reveal the finely plaited middle structure protected within, as if it is the inner sanctum of a fantastical insect. Meanwhile the irregular oblong form and wispy textured surface also suggest a quantum architecture arrived from deep space.

Exemplifying the core intent of Eocene Arts, this basket leaps contexts effortlessly: it appears as natural in a traditional tokonoma space as in a glass house, and is as at ease resting on its side as hung upright; it seems to have no necessary front or rear or top or bottom, no beginning and no end.

Jin’s work is featured in every recent exhibition and publication of contemporary basket art. His work is included in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and the N.Y. Museum of Arts and Design, among others, and he was the first contemporary bamboo artisan to be included in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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