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Flower Basket titled Kasumi, or Mist, by Kibe Seiho

岐部 笙芳

Kibe Seiho

b. 1951

Flower Basket titled Kasumi, or Mist

Oita-Ken Mayor’s Award, 28th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division
31 x 30 x 30 cm
12.2 x 11.8 x 11.8 in
Signed wooden box, under Seiho’s given name, “Masayoshi”
Original lacquered water container

A very early exhibition piece by one of the current senior figures in the field. For decades, Seiho’s works can be distinguished by their delicacy, balance, and fine-boned beauty. Seiho outdoes himself in this early award-winning work, clearly made with special intent for submission to the Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition in 1993.

The overwhelming quality of this basket is its lovely ethereality. Light falls on both the exterior and interior surfaces of its fine external layer. The passage of shifting light through the basket is beautiful to notice as it brings the feeling of a living dynamic space. One understands the title intuitively.

The cylindrical form visible within also evokes an atmospheric wave- or cloud-like surface. Inside this a third layer is found. Its mat-plaiting adds structural strength to the core and supports a gorgeously lacquered otoshi, or bamboo water container. The binding found at rim is extremely fine and mirrors that at the foot. The ethereality of the surface is balanced by the precision and coherence of the whole.

At the same time, the form of this basket is nearly identical to the great Korean moon jars, and there is a poetical leaping between the evident delicacy of this work, the hefty materiality of the moon jars, and the ideal of celestial beauty they evoke.

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