Kawano Shoko

BIO/CV

1957, Oita City, Oita Prefecture, Japan

Education
  • 1988

    Admitted to Oita Prefectural Technical Institute, Department of Bamboo Art
    Studied under Morigami Jin and Watanabe Chikusei, Shochikusai II’s brother


Exhibitions + Accolades
  • 1991                      

    Became independent

  • 1996

    Admitted to Kyoto City Art Exhibition
    Admitted to 31st Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division

  • 1997

    Admitted to 32nd Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division
    Admitted to 44th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 1998

    Admitted to 33rd Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division

  • 1999      

    Admitted to 34th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division
    Admitted to 35th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division

  • 2000

    Admitted to 36th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, Western Division
    Admitted to 45th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition

  • 2001

    The Next Generation, University of Arkansas, Little Rock
    Admitted to 49th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition
    Exhibited at Tigerman Himmel Gallery, Chicago, IL
    The Classic Japanese Basket, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2002

    Special Demonstration at International Asian Art Fair, New York, NY
    Exhibited in the Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, VA
    Winner of Cotsen Bamboo Prize

  • 2003

    Weavers of Wonder Show at the Naples Museum, FL

  • 2006                       

    Power & Delicacy: Master Works of Japanese Bamboo Art, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
    Hin: The Quiet Beauty of Japanese Art, Grinnell College, IA and Chicago Cultural Center, IL

  • 2009

    Received award at the 12th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Wood and Bamboo Exhibition

  • 2013                    

    Oita’s Art Movement, in partnership with the Oita Prefectural Government, a museum-quality show, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • 2014                    

    Group show, Japanese American Cultural Community Center, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2015

    Japanese Bamboo and the World Expo: A Century of Discovery, Japanese Friendship Gardens, San Diego, CA

  • 2016                     

    Solo Exhibition, TAI Modern, Santa Fe, NM
    Discovering Japanese Bamboo Art: The Rusty & Ann Harrison Collection, Herron School of Art & Design, Indianapolis, IN

  • 2017

    Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art, TAI Modern at Joan B. Mirviss LLC, New York, NY
    Asahi Newspaper Prize, 64th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition
    Tewaza no Bi – Bamboo Baskets from the Collection of Peter Shinbach, Portland Japanese Gardens, Portland, OR


Museum Collections
  • Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, CA
    Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC
    Beppu City Traditional Bamboo Craft Art Museum


ARTIST STATEMENT

I was brought up near the ocean. The nearby seashore was my playground. I was fascinated by the forms and shapes of the sea creatures living there and of the shells and rocks that I collected. My interest in sculpture grew during my high school years. An image of Michelangelo’s Pietà made a huge impact upon me, and I really wanted to become a sculptor. Over time, I realized that bamboo was my medium. Unlike stone or metal, bamboo has an incredible lightness and pliability that is unique. I like the duality of this medium’s delicacy and strength. Each strip of bamboo I cut is very strong yet so fine and flexible. When the strips are interlaced using open twill plaiting, I can shape the basket into rounded forms using only the natural tension of the bamboo. With the help of urushi, a tree sap lacquer applied as a finish, my baskets appear both transparent and solid at the same time.

I try to express my creativity mostly within the vessel form. Every time I work in my studio, however, I think sculpturally. My consciousness moves from lines to planes, from planes to three dimensional forms, and from three dimensional forms to space. Bamboo is most beautiful standing in a grove that is being swayed by the wind. I cut the bamboo down, split and shave the culms, manipulate the cut strips as I have planned, and hope to create something worthy of its natural beauty. What can I add to something that is already beautiful? Were all my efforts in vain? I ask myself these questions all the time. I can express myself through this medium and continue asking the same questions, as long as someone tells me that they see beauty in my work.

  • Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art

  • Kawano Shoko