Artisan | Woodworker: Kato, Hiroshi | Active only in the 1960s
Origin: No Biography
Historically, the Japanese have been a very modest people. Japanese artists, in particular, felt their work spoke for them, and so for centuries, creative efforts by many artists, with the exception of woodblock prints, were unsigned, yet were easily recognized by the public through a specific style and the artists’ unique personalities. As collectors we felt it was most important to represent all Traditional and Sosaku Kokeshi, whether or not the artist has been identified, their seal, or artistic signature translated, or a written account of this artist’s life. Each show the diversity of this cultural specialization and the creative work produced by this artist.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Kato-san’s slender and tall figures bring memories of very traditional women in Japan. In his dolls we observe a rather contemporary approach to the ‘Mage” hair design in both form and sumi-e’ brushwork, suggesting features as well as stylistic details relating to the general design of the Kimono and the black and gold obi. His faces are extremely expressive, with a partial covering of the face and tilted heads adding an unusual aspect to one series of dolls. Typical are the scenes from nature, (flowers, mountains).
Hiroshi's stylized versions of Heian noblewomen, from families of high rank, were one of his favorite subjects. Women enjoyed a certain aspect of freedom during the period and were well educated in music, poetry, art, fashion, and calligraphy, all part of a Heian Period woman's education.
Many of these women traveled incognito, (Oshinobi Dochi), and Hiroshi's creative dolls of the subject are extremely rare. He beautifully details their elongated faces and long hair which were common for ladies of this period, and they are typically wearing attire for travel: oversized hat and a heavy coat to ward off the chill.
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