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Flower Basket  by Shochikusai

Shochikusai (possibly Kutsuwa Shochikusai IV)
Flower Basket
41.5 x 21.5 x 21.5 cm
16.3 x 8.5 x 8.5 in
With original box signed and sealed "Shochikusai"

A very satisfying basket in itself and excellent example of Japanese adaptation of Chinese tea aesthetics. The body is full, like a traditional ceramic vessel, but rendered translucent in a twined hexagonal weave. The twining of the horizontals, each of which is composed of three overlapping lacquered strands, gives the basket a pleasing firmness and texture and also complexifies the play of light on, in, and through this basket. Light glitters across its surface. Rattan detailing at center clarifies the shape of the body, which rises precisely from a hexagonal base. Rhizome handles and rattan knotting speak again to the Chinese literati admiration for such gnarled expressions of the energies of nature. There is virtually no information available on this artist, but here this unknown artist has created a basket that is simultaneously full-bodied and robust, yet fine in detail and form.

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