Exhibition Overview from the Artist - Hiromu Moulinette (Morine)
“Why did you become a traditional artisan?” This is the most frequently asked question for me, being Japanese, living in Japan and being a Japanese traditional artisan. My answer is always simple. “Why ask? Try it for yourself!”
There are so many techniques and culture that has been lost or long forgotten. I was born in Kyoto, surrounded by full of heritage and traditions. I never thought that these things around me was so valuable, so fragile, and so easily gone forever. As I grew up here in the US in Virginia, its was the turning point of my life. One day I was asked, “Why doesn’t your country value your culture more?” It was shocking. I never thought of such nor never imagined how things were so rapidly changing in Japan.
As I returned to Japan, I started working as a character designer for the game industry. It was the state of art of the period, and was the most promoted job. But as I worked more, I felt that I was missing something in my life. I was just messing with data and things were all digital within the monitor. I wondered what I wanted to become. Then I remembered the question that I was asked while in the states.
I looked for a field of traditional work that was about to cease its history. That is how I became one of the only three Japanese automata builder. I also wanted to be unique, so I decided to be an artisan specializing in a precision miniatures especially of a Japanese folk toys. I am self taught as there was no where I could learn what I wanted to know. From there creating something “different” became my life. My hands create various things that fit on the palm of the hand. All the pieces on the palm shine as the stars in the galaxy, and talks to whoever is seeing it.
I am an Artist, and I am an Artisan at the same time. I will keep creating something different, with the techniques that have been passed on for generations, spiced with my sense and flavor.
Join artist Hiromu Moulinette (Morine)’s workshops on how to make his miniatures and pieces! Find out more in the links below:
- June 22-23, 2019 (2:00pm) | Paint your own Daruma and Fortune Cat
- June 22-23, 2019 (4:15pm) | Asobi no Tsugi ~ Fixing Pottery and Ceramics using Traditional Japanese Methods
About the Artist
Hiromu Moulinette (Morine)
Hiromu was born in Kyoto and grew up in Virginia, USA. He returned to Japan in high school and later on entered the International Christian University in Tokyo. Hiromu majored in environmental psychology and marine biology.
Hiromu is one of the three existing traditional Japanese automa builders. These craft work consist of both wooden and metal gears. Using the same technique, also makes a traditional Japanese clock as well. As an artisan, he specializes in extremely small sculptures. They are extremely precise and minute. Some sculpture are even as small as 1mm. Other than the above, he also works as a buddha carver as well as a jewerly designer for Geisha, using various traditional techniques. Hiromu is also known as a designer and a builder of wooden glass frames.
In addition to his craftwork, Hiromu is a journalist for cycling, and the bike industry. He is an editor in chief of Cycling Time, which is one of the oldest and largest cycling websites in Japan. He also works as a translator for the company. At Cycling Time, he sponsors the Japan-registered UCI continental team, Interpro Cycling Academy. The team is currently ranked third in UCI Asia ranking.
Lastly, he was selected as a Artisan representing Fukuoka prefecture for Lexus New Takumi Project 2017. One artisan was selected from each prefecture and was supported by Lexus in making a product. Please take a look the detail from the link.