“Son of the Sun” Hexagonal Flower Basket

Iizuka Rōkansai Japanese

Not on view

This tall flower basket in a rounded hexagonal form and circular loop-handle exhibits a contrast between the finely split, pale brown bamboo and rattan and the wider bands of dark brown overlays of smoked bamboo. The latter, rising along each of the hexagonal corners and also ornamenting the rim and base, are bound to the vessel with fine strips of light-colored rattan. The piece bears an incised signature by the artist (“Rōkansai saku”). It is accompanied by its original storage box, the lid inscribed on one side with the word “hanakago” (flower basket) and on the other with the title, “Nichiro” (“Son of the Sun”). The box is also signed “Rōkansai saku,” and sealed “Rōkansai.” In 1939, around the time when he created this basket, in recognition of his talents and pioneering contributions to the field of bamboo art, Rōkansai was elected to be the first judge of the bamboo section of a reorganized version of the Teiten, the annual art exhibition organized by the Japanese government.

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