Current Exhibition:
April 9 – June 8
Japanese Bamboo Design

30 works by Contemporary Artists

9-14 April 2019

Have you ever spent three hours visiting an exhibition and then felt the need to see it all over again? This is what happened to me when I went to see “Fendre l’Air. Art du bambou au Japon” (Paris, Musée du Quai Branly, 27 November 2018 – 7 April 2019). Each step was a new discovery, each exhibit a new emotion… (see my review on the website).

It is as a result of that visit that I decided to organize – after “Japanese Weaving: the Art of Bamboo” of 2016 – this second exhibition on bamboo with works by the most important contemporary Japanese artists, some of them having taken part in the Paris exhibition as well.

The thirty works on display bear witness to the two trends currently present in this art: one revisiting in a modern key the ancient forms of tradition (ikebana baskets and tea ceremony), the other expressing itself through abstract and sometimes daring forms: sculptures living on the opposition between empty and full provided by the weave of this extraordinary material.

The exhibition, organized in association with the Mingei Gallery in Paris on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile (Furniture Exhibition) in Milan, is open in its complete form from 9 to 14 April and will then continue in a reduced form until 30 May.

Opening hours 9-14 April: every day including Sunday 11.00 – 19.00
15 April-30 May: 11.00-13.00 / 15-19, closed on Sundays and Monday mornings.

Renzo Freschi

Matsumoto Hafu (1952)

“Hanakago Noshidake Kaki”
2016 – 18 by 58 by 30 cm

The wide bamboo strips used by Hafu require a long and painstaking preparation to make them so flexible that they can be woven into a permanent shape. The particularly twisted weave of several works becomes in this case intrinsically simple in its perfection, like the powerful brush stroke in a Zen painting.

Tanabe Chikuunsai II (1910-2000)

“Tsubo-gata tetsuki hanakago”
(flower container with a jar-shaped handle)
1944-55 – 28 by 29 by 29 cm

The Tanabe family is one of the oldest and most important for the art of bamboo in Japan. Successive generations have searched for new techniques and forms of expression, but always sticking to an uncompromising stylistic accuracy, as in this flower container in which the oval of the vase is inscribed in the perfect circle of the handle.

Nakatomi Hajime (1974)

“Frill 06”
2018 – 30.5 by 39 by 32,5 cm

Nakatomi, a pupil of the great master Shoryu Honda, made of lightness the main object of his search. Even in his most complicated shapes, as in this aerial “frill”, the lines resemble the crossing flight patterns of dragonflies.

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV (1973)

“Seiin” (the sound of a star)
2018 – 40 by 24 by 24 cm

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV belongs to the fourth generation of a family who always worked with bamboo. Chikuunsai IV is one of the most innovative and eclectic contemporary artists. His work ranges from very light computer-designed works made with sophisticated techniques to large and sometimes huge installations, like the one made in 2016 inside the Musée National d’Art Asiatique Guimet in Paris.

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV (1973)

“Disappear II”
2018 – 60 by 25 by 25 cm

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV belongs to the fourth generation of a family who always worked with bamboo. Chikuunsai IV is one of the most innovative and eclectic contemporary artists. His work ranges from very light computer-designed works made with sophisticated techniques to large and sometimes huge installations, like the one made in 2016 inside the Musée National d’Art Asiatique Guimet in Paris.

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV (1973)

“Sozotoshi” (creative city)
2018 – 56 by 28 by 17 cm

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV belongs to the fourth generation of a family who always worked with bamboo. Chikuunsai IV is one of the most innovative and eclectic contemporary artists. His work ranges from very light computer-designed works made with sophisticated techniques to large and sometimes huge installations, like the one made in 2016 inside the Musée National d’Art Asiatique Guimet in Paris.

Yonezawa Jiro (1956)

“Twist”
2016 – 80 by 10 by 8 cm

Yonezawa is an international artist who lived and worked for several years in the United States before going back to Japan. The material is modelled in a tubular shape twisted in an endless spiral reminiscent of M.C. Escher’s “impossible” works.

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Jin Morigami (1974)

“Small Person III”
2014 – 38 by 47 by 35 cm

Morigami uses thin bamboo strips to create abstract forms that can be hung, overturned or placed on their sides so that they seem always different and may suggest different interpretations. Could this not be a meditating Buddha?

Nagakura Ken’ichi (1952-2018)

“Hito Kyoku” (woman with soft forms)
2016 – 41 by 17 by 17 cm

Nagakura was one of the greatest innovators, he invented and put together different materials like no-one ever did before. Is this sculpture an acephalous walking woman or a bottle in a woman’s shape? What does the open neck suggest?

This is the unsolvable mystery of hollow and solid forms! We are left with the soft and sensual forms of a work that seems to move within reality but also on a conceptual plane.

Renzo Freschi - asian art
Renzo Freschi
info@renzofreschi.com
2 Comments
  • Avatar
    J. Di Sabatino
    Posted at 14:46h, 31 March Reply

    What a beautiful website! Congratulations on the “new look.” The Japanese Weaving exhibit from a few years ago was one of my favorite. I look forward to seeing this new one!

  • Avatar
    Thomas
    Posted at 05:04h, 04 May Reply

    They are so beautiful

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