JAPANESE BAMBOO BASKETS
Earth Flower Basket by Monden Kogyoku
Monden Kogyoku / 門田篁玉
Earth Flower Basket
9 x 10.6 x 10.6 in
23 x 27 x 27 cm
Original box + lacquered water container
A signature work by the centenarian Monden Kogyoku, a basket that is equal parts conceptual sculpture and vessel, basket and nest.
Monden Kogyoku, one of the brilliant innovators in the field, has worked in bamboo since 1933, when he first apprenticed to Kadota Niko (1907-1994). Niko too was a creative force (several of his works are presented on this site) able to link the deep folk traditions of bamboo craft in Kyushu to the fine technical considerations of formal bamboo art exhibitions and institutions. Niko must also have been a good mentor, as Monden continued making such innovative syntheses of form, texture, color, and technique—he was certainly among the first to make sculptural objects as flower baskets, as demonstrated here, rather than the other way around. It’s testament to his artistry that his unconventional works have in turn been assimilated back into the wider field of bamboo art; few contemporary basketmakers have escaped his influence.
His achievements have been formally recognized at nearly every relevant platform: since 1935 he has regularly exhibited and won prizes at the prefectural, regional and national levels, including nine times at the Nitten.