Installation,  Quick Hits

Quick Hits: Bamboo Art

Japanese artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV pushes the boundaries of bamboo art. He creates soaring, twisting forms that stretch from floor to ceiling.  These dramatic, immersive environments are meant to make us think of the bamboo forests where these works began their lives (below).

The installation (top of post) at Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is on through August.

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV magnifies the scale of traditional Japanese basket-making techniques, weaving together past and present into astonishing, gallery-sized organic shapes that have captivated audiences across the globe – exhibition notes

The easiest way to understand the power of his work, and the reason for his reputation, is this time-lapse video of the artist installing previous work, The Gate, at the Met in New York.

Asian Art Museum, here.

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV website, here.


  • J Walters

    Your points are right on target. I especially like your comment that Tanabe using space without force, and you can see that in the video from The Met. Also, his technique is much more intricate than Oliveira (I also did a post! I had never seen the bamboo basketwork technique for sculpture, and I think it is a finer art. Thank you so much for your comments. Well said!

  • Weiss-Nix

    I love it…yeah!
    Very exciting…in particular if you compare this art work with the “massive intruders of Henrique Oliveira from Brazil” (I wrote a post about his sculptures).

    Tanabe Chikuunsai IV`s bamboo sculpture is also space filling and organic. But it seems to be less heavy, solid /inflexible, violent, destructive or offensive.
    The sculpture of Tanabe is breathing and is utilizing space without force.
    The creature is more organized….maybe the impression is provided because of the basketwork technique….bamboo strings are forming something bigger (incl. pattern) than themselves.
    It looks like an organism that seems to be more flexible and more adaptive to change than its Brazilian counterpart .
    Tanabes sculpture takes space but leaves empty space same time in contrast to Henrique`s art.
    The basketwork is also transparent. Thus, the installation is not completely overwhelming and threatening.

    Very interesting. Thank you for introducing Tanabe`s art.
    I think, I will forward a link to this post to Henrique Oliveira. Maybe, he is also fascinated by this different approach. I hope, he will respond.

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