Iizuka Shokansai (1919-2004)
Item number: T-4153
Size: H 8.3" x W 5.1" x L 5.1" (21 x 13 x 13 cm)
Madake bamboo; parallel-line construction over twill plaiting, wrapping, knotting; otoshi (water-container) made from a black-lacquered uncut stem of bamboo
Signed: Shōkansai saku (Made by Shōkansai)
Fitted wood tomobako storage box inscribed outside Hanakago (Flower basket); inscribed inside Shōkansai saku (Made by Shōkansai) and Heisei nijūnananen sangatsu kichinichi Mari shiki (Recorded by Mari in March 2015) with seal Mari
Born in Tokyo as the son of the great innovator Iizuka Rōkansai, Shōkansai received intensive training from his father and was a quick learner, presenting his work at the Nitten national fine arts exhibition in 1947, and receiving the name Shōkansai in 1949. After showing 20 times in the contemporary craft section of the Nitten, and even experimenting for a period with other materials such as acrylic and metal, Shōkansai eventually came to the conclusion that it was impossible to deny the “craft” nature of bamboo, and from 1974 displayed his work at the Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition. Like his father Rōkansai, he excelled in a wide range of styles and techniques. He was named a Living National Treasure in 1982.
Here Shōkansai has constructed a deceptively simple, slight splayed form, selecting broadly-split lengths of whitened bamboo to form the uprights and carefully positioning their nodes to form an intriguing pattern in combination with the narrow strands of split bamboo that are “floated” out from the twill-plaited interior.
The box attribution was written by the artist’s daughter Mari Iizuka Wolschke.