JAPANESE BAMBOO BASKETS
Imo (Potato) Flower Basket by Iizuka Hosai II
Iizuka Hosai II / 二代飯塚鳳斎
12 x 11 x 11 in
30 x 28 x 28 cm
Box signed and sealed by the artist
Original lacquered water container
Made in 1922, when Hosai II would have been 50 years old (his younger brother Rokansai would have been 32), this basket is so unpretentious that its technicality is almost imperceptible. How whisper-thin are some of the strands and how loosely they are interspersed with others of varying width—a significant technical challenge in itself—and how effortlessly free is the "weave" of the body and rim, which seems the inevitable extension of the natural pattern within. Its color is lovely. It is not a basket that overwhelms, but like certain other baskets of Hosai II—who also created baskets of dazzling technical skill—it has such an ease about it that it seems to have been created in a single breath.