Isohi Setsuko

July 30, 2021–August 28, 2021

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, July 30, 5 – 7pm
VIRTUAL ARTIST TALK: Wednesday, August 18, 5pm

Isohi is one of only a handful of Japanese women to earn recognition in the bamboo arts. Born in Otawara City, Tochigi Prefecture, Isohi studied the Sogetsu style of flower arrangement and Sencha tea ceremony. Her desire to arrange flowers in her own baskets led her to a class with local bamboo teacher Yagisawa Tadashi, son of well-known artist Yagisawa Keizo. Isohi advanced rapidly and her baskets won many awards at the All Japan Amateur Bamboo Art Competitions. One of her award-winning pieces was purchased by a local museum.

Not satisfied with her achievements, she consulted with Katsushiro Soho, a Living National Treasure in Bamboo Art, who lives in Tochigi Prefecture. He encouraged Isohi to submit her work to the Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, an annual competition among professional artists.

Isohi is only the third woman bamboo artist to gain full membership in the Japan Craft Arts Association and has received numerous awards and prizes over the course of her career. In 2010, Isohi Setsuko won Best of Show at the Japan Traditional Craft Arts Association annual exhibition. In the 61 years prior to 2010, only five bamboo artists had ever won this ultimate prize.

The artist used to hate her given name, “Setsuko,” because of how old-fashioned it sounds. However, since it contains the Chinese character for “bamboo node,” she now likes her name. “I believe it was my destiny to become a bamboo artist.”