Japanese artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV produces twisting installations of woven bamboo that meld into their environment’s floor and ceiling. To bend the durable material he first moistens each piece to achieve the perfect curve, and often recycles the same pieces of bamboo for future installations. In 2017 the artist constructed a site-specific piece titled The Gate at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The work used tiger bamboo that had been used ten times, including in a piece shown at the Museé Guimet in Paris.
“Technique and skill and spirit are important,” Chikuunsai IV told The Sculpture Center last summer. “My parents taught me that this spirit is more important than technique. Using bamboo, I try to keep the spirit and tradition in my heart as I create new work.”
The art form was past down to Chikuunsai IV from a long line of bamboo craftsman, including his father. Formally he earned a degree in sculpture from Tokyo University of the Arts, and trained in bamboo crafts at a school in Beppu on the island of Kyushu, Japan. Chikuunsai has a sculpture currently on view at the historic estate Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire (thnx Helen!). You can see a time lapse video of last year’s installation at The Met on the museum’s Youtube channel. (via I Need A Guide)