Hello dear readers, and welcome to another article for «The Talk». As the majority of you requested, today’s article will focus upon the art of bamboo in Japan. I will present to you this tradition from its beginning to its impact on the contemporary Art scene.
Thus far unknown by the occidental world, the art of bamboo started in the late 1800, and is now fully part of Japanese culture. Thanks to the arrival of tea leaves by the Chinese merchant during the Meiji Era, basketry made out of bamboo were used during the Sencha tea ceremonies, where artist and savant reunited to discuss culture, philosophy, and other intellectual topics.
The primary utility of those basketry was to serve as containers for floral arrangements during the ceremonies, but many artist saw in those wicker-work a form of Art in itself. From what many Art collectors started to request for specific basketry to the artisans of the region of Shizuoka, in order to add tea to their collections.
It is only in the mid-1900 that the art of bamboo moved from a craft state (anonymous and monotonous) to a more artistic state with more modern shapes, a finesse, and a singularity.
The movement was a clear simultaneous expression of Art and Design thanks to Kagoshima (Bamboo artist) such as Iizuka Rokansai, who propel this art on the international stage when he participated in the exposition «modern decorative and industrial arts», held in Paris in 1925. He is well known for his forward thinking and knowledge of this Art, and is sometimes considered as the «Picasso of bamboo».
Nowadays many Kagoshima perpetuates the traditions of a purer, more modern, or even abstract design, always with a great technicality that allows them to create such aerial Art-pieces.
Recently an exposition named «Fendre l’air» is taking place at the museum Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. The goal is to chronologically explain the history of the Art of bamboo and to showcase it to the visitors. The exposition exhibit 200 Art-pieces some which were created for the event, those pieces testifies the spacial balance and lightness of this art form.
If you are in Paris and you would want to take a look to «Fendre d’air» the exhibition will take place until the 7th of April, 2019.
That’s it guys, I hope you enjoyed to know more about this Art form. If you would like to know how the basketry and other pieces are made out of bamboo, here is a link of a video explaining the process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gAvGZ75_r8