Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art

June 22, 2013 - September 15, 2013

Modern Twist explores the innovative shape that bamboo art has taken since the mid-twentieth century, highlighting the creativity of 17 contemporary artists through a stunning collection of 37 works. These artists have challenged previous aesthetic conventions of bamboo art by experimenting with nonfunctional, sculptural forms, and have pushed their medium to new levels of concept and technique.

The pieces in the exhibition range from the mid-1960s to 2010, with most made during the last ten years. All but one of the artists still actively design and create new artworks, and many of the pieces have never been seen before in the United States.

Bamboo art is a unique Japanese phenomenon. As early as the eighth and ninth centuries, bamboo objects were used in Buddhist rituals, tea ceremonies, and ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), and became important features of these traditions. Bamboo art has been less widely recognized than other Japanese decorative arts such as ceramics and lacquer, but it is actually a highly demanding medium that requires years of study under the tutelage of a bamboo master. Modern Twist brings the creativity, innovation, and expertise of these artists to the forefront of the international art world.

The exhibition was curated by Dr. Andreas Marks, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Collection of the Clark Center and tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. The exhibition was generously supported by the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. The catalogue was supported by the Nomura Foundation, Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, Eric and Karen Ende, Alexandra and Dennis Lenehan, Gilda and Henry Buchbinder, and the Snider Family Fund.

Tanabe Chikuunsai III, Squares and Circles, 2005
Uematsu Chikuyu, Moon Rise on Autumn Fields, 2007 Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art