Tanabe Shōchiku III (1973-)



Funagata hanakago “Amatsukaze”
Boat-shaped flower vase for ikebana called “Wind in the sky
Madake-Shirasabidake bamboo (white bamboo), rattan
Signed: Shōchiku zō (made by Shōchiku)
Tanabe Shōchiku III (1973-)
H:33cm, L:55cm, D:17cm
Tomobako, original box signed by the artist
Gozame weave (plain weave)
Nihontobi gozame weave
Magaki weave (stripe lines)
Sanbon nawame weave

I think that the beauty of bamboo is representative of the sensitivity and the spirit of the Japanese people. I was born into a family of craftsmen who handed down their veneration for bamboo from one generation to the next. My goal is to succeed in producing artworks which establish a bridge between traditional art and contemporary creation.”

TANABE “Takeo” Shouchiku III (b. 1973) is the son of Chikuunsai III who passed away in March 2014. Shouchiku means “little bamboo“. In 2017, he will adopt the artist’s name of Chikuunsai IV, which means ” bamboo cloud“, and will thus perpetuate the long dynasty of master wicker-workers  he is descended from.

He began learning about the bamboo arts from his father at a very early age, and then studied at the Osaka City Crafts High School. He obtained a degree in sculpture from Tokyo Art University, and continued his training at Beppu, on Kyushu Island, before joining the Sakai family studio near Osaka.

TANABE Shouchiku creates two kinds of bamboo works. The first type, which is made using traditional techniques handed down from generation to generation, is functional and intended for use in the art of ikebana and the tea ceremony. Faithful to tradition, TANABE Shouchiku III is committed to transmitting his art to future generations, and currently has four young disciples.

His other works are part of the realm of contemporary creations. TANABE Shouchiku III is very much a living artist of his time and expresses his individuality through organic sculptural forms using “tiger bamboo”, “black bamboo”, and other natural materials. Both his functional and contemporary works are present in many public and international private collections. He has also been the recipient of many prizes, both in Japan and abroad, notably of the very prestigious Lloyd Cotsen Bamboo Prize in the USA in 2007.

His monumental installation called “Godai” is on view at the Rotonde of the musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet until 19h September 2016.

Museum collections
Musée national des Art Asiatiques – Guimet, Paris, France
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York
Morikami Museum, Florida, USA
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, USA
Japan Imperial Household Agency, Japan
British Museum, UK
Museo Nacional de Arte, La Paz, Bolivia
Peruano-Japonés Centro Cultural, Lima, Peru
Osaka City Crafts High School, Japan
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
The Ruth and Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art, USA
Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Hanford, California
San Francisco Asian Art Museum, USA
Long Beach Museum of Art, USA
Seattle Art Museum, USA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA

1999 Newcomer Prize, Newcomer Exhibition in Sakai City (Sakai-shi bijutsu shinjin ten)
2000 Labor Ministry Prize, All Japan Technical Exhibition (Zenkoku sogo gino ten)
2001 Oita Governor Prize, Bamboo Craft Exhibition (Kurashino naka no chikukogei ten)
2001 Mayor’s Prize, Sakai City Art Exhibition (Sakai-shi ten)
2002 Yomiuri TV Prize, All Kansai Art Exhibition (Zen Kansai bijutsu ten)
2004 Osaka Craft Exhibition Choice Award, All Kansai Art Exhibition (Zen Kansai bijutsu ten)
2004 Sakai Art Association Prize, Sakai City Art Exhibition (Sakai-shi ten)
2007 Cotsen Prize
2010 Bavarian State Prize, Working Area Braiding (Bayerischer Staatspreis, Werkbereich Flechten)
2011 Asahi Newspaper Prize, 13th Exhibition of Traditional Wood and Bamboo Art Crafts (Dentō kōgei mokuchiku ten)
2012 Newcomer’s Prize, 59th Exhibition Of Japanese Traditionnal Art Crafts (Nihon dento kōgei ten)