CURATED BY DANE OWEN
11.14.2019 – 01.06.2020
The Japanese word TAKEAMI describes the manifold artistry of Bamboo weaving. This exhibition aims to present various Takeami techniques through the selection of woven masterpieces curated by Japanese Antiques expert, Dane Owen. The baskets on view span from the 19th century to today, highlighting Japan’s elegant craftsmanship and cultural heritage through the tradition of bamboo arts.
Each basket is the result of meticulous time-honored techniques that a guilded master must study for over three decades in order to garner the recognition of his peers and acute collectors. An aspiring bamboo weaver spends three to five years observing his master at work before even touching the bamboo. Only then does the disciple begin a five to seven year training focused on the precise bamboo cutting techniques, which he must master before he may experiment with the complex techniques of bamboo weaving (‘Takeami’).
Strong, yet lightweight and flexible, bamboo is a challenging material to work with. Mastering the art involves not only weaving the bamboo, but harvesting, processing, dyeing and splicing it. The delicate woven pieces embody the appreciation of time and dedication, detailed simplicity and the worshipping of the heritage of craftsmanship that is ever present in the Japanse culture.
A marvel of design, the provenance of these Japanese bamboo masterpieces can be traced as far back as the 14th century. Earlier works of art are usually unsigned, reflecting the noble humility of its creator. Only in the 19th century did weaving masters begin to sign their work with the concern of establishing lineage as they passed on their knowledge to their apprentices.