JAPANESE BAMBOO BASKETS

Flower Basket  by Wada Wachisai II

Wada Waichisai II / 二代和田和一斎
1877-1933
Flower Basket
33 x 21.5 x 16 cm
13 x 8.5 x 6.3 in

One of the pleasures of bamboo basketry is the way in which ancient forms continually reappear as living forms rather than historical relics. This continual reinterpretation and vitalization of the past brings great cultural and historical depth to the field as a whole, linking contemporary works directly into the vast history of art and ideas in Eastern Asia.

Here Waichisai II drew from one of the most ancient ritual vessel-forms of the region. Vessels with such 'ears' are repeatedly found over the millennia in Japanese or Chinese ceramics and Chinese bronze. The form, so foreign to Western eyes, therefore conveys an almost palpable significance and stoicism to those familiar with Eastern culture history. 

This basket is composed of aged honey-colored madake into which Waichisai II integrated several lengths of speckled sesame-bamboo (gomaedake), adding slight variation of color and texture to the body. The basket's coarse weave seems to exist beyond the eye, as just as a particular pattern is grasped it slips into something else, as if it had been woven unconsciously, by itself. 

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