Retro-futuristic bamboo basket by Yokota Hosai
3 x 36 x 23 cm
5 x 14 x 9 in
This unusual ‘basket within a basket’ is a work by Yokota Hosai, great modernist of mid-century Japanese bamboo art.
Yokota Hosai, also known as Yokota Minesai, was an artist of consummate skill and aesthetic accomplishment. On viewing a dozen of his works, each so distinct and yet so complete, one can scarcely believe they were made by the same hand. As a Tokyo-based bamboo artist, Hosai is overshadowed by the Iizuka family line, with its generations and descendants, including Iizuka Rokansai (1890-1958) and his son Iizuka Shokansai (1919-2004), who received the National Living Treasure designation.
Hosai did not receive such public accolades, though he studied for a time under Hayashi Shogetsusai (1911-1986, teacher also to Honma Kazuaki [b. 1930] and Baba Shodo [1925-1996], among others), collaborated with Rokansai and Shogetsusai to promote bamboo art, and in the post-War period exhibited at the highest levels in Tokyo for decades on end. Such is the capriciousness of fame, as Hosai can be esteemed as one of the earliest and most accomplished modernists in bamboo art.
Hosai was a friend and companion of Charlotte Perriand, guiding her explorations of Japanese bamboo and aesthetics while she visited Japan in the early 1930s. Hosai later went to Europe, where Perriand must have returned the favor. One wonders of the real nature of their relationship. Both were remarkably flexible thinkers whose works seem always fresh, free from received ideas, breathing deeply, based on careful study and yet unconstrained by the formalities of previous times.
This basket is so retro-futuristic it would have been entirely at ease in the old Star Wars. Like other of Hosai’s works on our site, it has a perfect balance of form and structure. The technicality of its striated structure is greatly admired by bamboo artists, and in this case seems to create another kind of basket entirely.