Flower Basket (Hanakago)

Iizuka Rōkansai Japanese

Not on view

Japanese bamboo art in eastern Japan, the area surrounding Tokyo, underwent a process of modernization during the first half of the twentieth century. Several masters rose to fame through their participation in newly reorganized systems of domestic and international exhibitions and began producing “art baskets.” Iizuka Rōkansai spearheaded this movement, pioneering new directions for the field and elevating bamboo craft to an art form. Emphasizing artistic freedom and individuality, Rōkansai experimented with the possibilities of the medium and developed several new techniques.

Rōkansai, using a system formulated for describing calligraphy and painting, divided his oeuvre into three styles according to function and technique: shin (formal), gyō (semiformal), and sō (freestyle, or cursive). This tall, thin timber bamboo flower basket made with coarse weave is representative of the artist’s informal and more individualistic style.

Flower Basket (Hanakago), Iizuka Rōkansai (Japanese, 1890–1958), Timber bamboo and rattan, Japan

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