(L-R): Honda Syoryu, Aurora II, 2023, madake bamboo, rattan, 8.75 x 12 x 10 in.; Shono Tokuzo, Setting Sun, 2023, madake bamboo, rattan, 36 x 29 x 25 in.; Kawano Shoko, Red Sky on the Morning of New Year’s Day, 2022, madake bamboo, rattan, 8 x 16.5 x 16.25 in.; Courtesy TAI Modern
A selection of new bamboo pieces has just arrived at TAI Modern by artists Honda Syoryu, Shono Tokuzo and Kawano Shoko.
Honda Syoryu began his career studying bamboo basket making for flower arranging but the limitations of this centuries-old genre constrained his creativity. He takes what are deceptively simple techniques, such as plait weaving and twining, and turns them into beautiful expressions of playfulness and agility. The sculptural form of Honda’s Aurora II is reminiscent of fabric folding, showing his mastery of organic movement in abstract shape.
Shono Tokuzo is meticulous in his artistic process and prefers to prepare the bamboo entirely by himself in order to have greater control over the medium. The bamboo is cut in the winter from a mountain grove and processed traditionally. He then lets the culms dry standing up for 100 days. Thus, the process of removing the oil and sugar through heat leaching is easier. The bamboo then goes into a special hot chamber and dries for another 20 days which gives it its final ivory color and luster. Finally, it is ready to be cut and prepared to be used in Shono’s works.
Kawano Shoko has exquisitely balanced his basket, Red Sky on the Morning of New Year’s Day, with an open ajiro technique for the inner wall with a line construction for the outer wall. Kawano says “I try to express my creativity mostly within the vessel form. However, I think sculpturally. My consciousness moves from lines to planes, from planes to three-dimensional forms, and from three-dimensional forms to space.”
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