Matt returned to the States from Japan in 2014 after a staggering 8 years apprenticeship with Shinji Suzuki. He has set up shop in Portland, OR to start his professional career. Matt is known for his broad expertise in working with a wide range of conifer and deciduous, as well as his knowledge of bonsai pots and bonsai display aesthetics. He is also passionate about bonsai garden design and how trees and other elements are incorporated to add to the overall balance and feeling of the garden as a whole. Matt’s highly refined styling of trees is making him in demand as a presenter and as a caretaker of bonsai for serious aficionados, which makes his light and playful manner all the more appealing.
Shinji Suzuki is a rarity in the Japanese bonsai world because he wasn't raised in a multi-generational bonsai family. Instead, he developed a passion for bonsai through his own self-discovery of bonsai. Suzuki grew up in the mountains of the Nagano prefecture; a beautiful place hewn with mountain ranges and waterfalls. Now residing in Obuse, Japan, Suzuki has developed one of the best and most memorable bonsai nurseries in the world. Suzuki was the last apprentice under master Motosuke Hamano of the Touju-en nursery in Omiya. After his apprenticeship, he went from styling client's trees out of the back of his van, to now being one of the most internationally recognized bonsai artists of our time. To this day, Shinji Suzuki holds the most Prime Minister awards amongst all the professionals in Japan. On top of having one of the greatest eyes in the game, his display sense and overall knowledge of the art is quite staggering, even among the professional bonsai community.