Tanaka Kyokusho

BIO/CV

b. 1947 Tokyo, Japan

Education
  • 1972

    Graduated from Waseda University

  • 1976

    Graduated from Oita Prefecture Advanced Technology Training Center for Bamboo Studies


Exhibitions + Accolades
  • 1979

    Admitted to 19th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Eastern Division (thereafter every year)

  • 1979

    Admitted to 27th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition (thereafter many times)

  • 1984

    Winner of Tokyo Educational Committee Award at 24th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Eastern Division

  • 1984

    Served as judge at 25th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Eastern Division

  • 1988

    Served as judge at 28th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Eastern Division

  • 1989

    Winner of Mitsukoshi Department Store Award at 29th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Eastern Division

  • 1989

    Solo Exhibition at MOA Gallery, Nagoya

  • 1989

    Winner of Tokyo Educational Committee Award at 4th Japan Traditional Craft Arts, Wood and Bamboo Exhibition

  • 1989

    Winner of Japan Craft Arts Association Chairman’s Award at 37th Japan Traditional Crafts Arts Exhibition

  • 1989

    Appeared on NHK Broadcasting program “Sunday Art Museum”

  • 1992

    Served as judge at 5th Japan Traditional Craft Arts, Wood and Bamboo Exhibition

  • 1994

    Winner of Japan Craft Art Association Award at 6th Japan Traditional Craft Arts, Wood and Bamboo Exhibition

  • 1996

    Served as judge at 36th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Eastern Division

  • 1997

    Served as judge at 38th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Eastern Division

  • 1997

    Served as judge at 8th Japan Traditional Craft Arts, Wood and Bamboo Exhibition

  • 1997

    Served as judge at 45th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 1997

    Solo Exhibition, Yu Gallery, Akasaka, Tokyo (thereafter two times)

  • 2002

    The Next Generation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

  • 2003

    The Classic Japanese Basket, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2004

    Winner of Prince Takamatsu Award at 51st Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, the winning piece purchased by the Agency of Imperial Household.

    Exhibited in the Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, VA.

  • 2005

    Served as judge at 45th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Eastern Division

    Two-person exhibition at TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2005

    Weavers of Wonder, Naples Museum, Naples, FL

  • 2006

    Hin: The Quiet Beauty of Japanese Art, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA and the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL

  • 2008

    Awarded the “Purple Ribbon” by the Japanese Congress for lifetime achievement in the arts. This award is presented by the emperor.

  • 2015

    Solo exhibition, TAI Modern, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2017

    Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

  • 2017

    Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art, TAI Modern at Joan B. Mirviss LTD, New York, NY


Museum Collections
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

  • Imperial Household of Japan, Tokyo

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

  • Nasunogahara Museum, Nasushiobara, Tochigi Prefecture


ARTIST STATEMENT

Throughout my career, I have made different styles of bamboo art. The color black takes precedence in some of my works. The color black doesn’t have a strong identity of its own. It therefore has the effect of bringing out the colors surrounding it. This result is called an after image. Earlier in my career, when my works were selected in the Dento Kogei exhibition for the first time, I used green tea to dye them. At that time, I was interested in extracting the natural characteristics of the works of art. Recently my main concern shifted to having black as the foundation of the artwork using the other colors as accents. These accent colors are derived from plants such as sappan wood, madder, gardenia, turmeric, alder, and safflower. I like to use these pigments because they were passed down to us craftsmen since ancient times. I find that they are very compatible with bamboo so I have been incorporating them in my artwork for many years.

I like to express the tension that is much like the wire construction of the Golden Gate Bridge through composition in line construction. I am also interested in the negative space as an important aspect of my composition. I like to use the metaphor of sound that is created by the Japanese guitar called Shamisen. The deep sounds of the Shamisen gradually disappear and create a pause in the music, but this pause, without any sounds, is part of the composition in music.

I would be very pleased if you feel something soulful when you look at my work.

  • Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art

  • Tanaka Kyokusho (2005)

  • Tanaka Kyokusho (2015)