Okimono called “Transmigration of Soils”
Honda Shōryū (b. 1951)
Madake bamboo and rattan
Japan, Hesei period, ca. 2004-2006
W. 9.1 in (23cm) – L. 9.8 in (25cm) – H. 20.5 in (52cm)

Honda Shōryū hails from Kagoshima prefecture on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands. He studied in Beppu (Oita prefecture) the center of bamboo production for all of Kyushu, and a significant number of the bamboo objects used in daily life is produced in this area. At the start of his career, Honda studied flower basket making (ikebana), and continued to produce these baskets for many years to earn a living. Eventually, he came to feel restricted by the conventions which traditional ikebana basketry imposed on him. His current sculptures are a testimony to a new direction in bamboo design, and demonstrate Honda’s departure from his earlier focus on functional vessels. Tube-like, contorted forms – inspired by nature, time, and space – have become a staple in the evolution of Honda’s personal sculptural style. Honda Shōryū was one of 17 contemporary artists represented in the “Modern Twist” exhibition held at The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Hanford, California from November 2012 through January 2013.