Asia Society Texas Center presents Curator Talk: Dr. Andreas Marks
This presentation by Modern Twist guest curator Dr. Andreas Marks will look into the historical development of bamboo art in Japan. It will also provide an overview of the leading artists in the early 20th century that were instrumental for establishing sculptural works as today’s second main pillar of Japanese bamboo art. Light bites will be provided.
Originally from China, bamboo baskets have been made in Japan since the 8th century, when they were used to hold flowers during Buddhist rituals. In the 9th century, bamboo objects became intimately connected with Japan’s two forms of ceremonial tea presentation — chanoyu and senchadō. Since flower arrangements in bamboo containers played a role in both traditions, baskets imported from China became popular. During the 19th century Japanese bamboo artists were predominantly engaged in reproducing the most complex forms for a demanding market.
Bamboo works remained predominantly utilitarian in nature until the mid-20th century, when a small number of artists began to experiment with nonfunctional, sculptural forms. Since then, bamboo artists have proven to be highly creative by challenging the conventions of basketry and pushing their medium to new conceptual and technical limits. Artistic forms emerged in the mid-20th century that influenced “traditional” baskets, transforming them from functional vessels to increasingly sculptural objects.
Innovative sculptures by 16 bamboo artists are on display in Modern Twist, and attendees to this lecture are invited to take a free look at the exhibition on the day of the program.