Kawashima Shigeo

Kawashima Shigeo


Since the day I was born, my life being the expression of what I do and how I live each day, every aspect of my experience is intertwined into my work. In other words, I bundle up all of what I feel each day, and then trim it down repeatedly into its essence. The accumulation what remains is what I call “creation,” and what I create adds to my experience.

When I was seventeen years old, I wanted to live in a remote place like a mountain hermit. I thought of becoming an artist or craftsman to make this lifestyle possible. I went through trial and error, and I came across bamboo at the age of twenty. I really liked the simplicity of bamboo, and I thought I was getting closer to the kind of life I wanted.

Then the big change come to my life at the age of twenty-seven. Working with bamboo annoyed me, but I realized that the bamboo and I were inseparable. I could not run away from it as bamboo had already become part of me. I really don’t know when, where, and what formed the way I create my work today. One thing that I remember clearly is that I wanted to run away from the process of preparing and weaving bamboo that requires meticulous attention and endurance.

It is just an inseparable relationship between the bamboo and me. That is the only reason I can think of why I did not give up working with bamboo. I don’t know how to manage it, but I have ended up tying bamboo rather than weaving it.

It is strange, but my hands get this urge to weave bamboo lately. I suppress this urge for now and enjoy my current process.