JAPANESE BAMBOO BASKETS
Silence/Solitude by Honma Hideaki
Honma Hideaki / 本間秀昭
75 x 58 x 23 cm (without base)
29.5 x 22.8 x 9 in
Original box signed and sealed Hideaki
In its minimalism and abstract zoomorphism, this important, elegant sculpture by Honma Hideaki reminds one of the figures often portrayed in Japanese bronze sculpture. The use of bamboo -the graceful, warm-colored lengths of menyadake, a native variety of Sado Island, and undulating textured panels of madake- brings this work a special vitality. It has the stillness and tranquility of a sleeping bird.
With one exception, this is the earliest known work by Honma Hideaki. It is certainly the earliest of his available works. It can be dated to 1994 or, perhaps more likely, 1995, when it was accepted into the second annual exhibition of the Niigata Setsuryosha Museum of Art. It received the special Encouragement Award of the exhibition, given to the most promising young artist exhibiting in any medium. Hideaki was 36 years old at the time, and only five years into his career as individual artist.
Hideaki did indeed live up to his promise, as in a longer perspective he can now be seen as one of the senior, pioneering generation of bamboo sculptors. In recent decades, he has earned increasingly prestigious commendations, including the Gendai Kogei Rijicho-Sho (President’s Contemporary Arts and Crafts Award) at the celebratory 50th Niigata Contemporary Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 2012, and the Tokyo Tochiji-Sho (Governor of Tokyo Award) at the 53rd Japan Contemporary Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 2014.
Honma Hideaki's works are included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He is also one of only a handful of contemporary bamboo artists included in the Abbey Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which in 2018-19 was exhibited in Oita, Tokyo, and Osaka, the three centers of 20th century bamboo art in Japan.