Hanging flower basket
Kameyama Kochikusai (1877-1937)
Japan, Kansai, Meiji period (1868-1912)
H. 11 in (28cm) x W. 13.6 in (34.5cm)
This basket is in what is called the Ryū-Rikyō style. Ryū-Rikyō was a pseudonym for Yanagisawa Kien (1703-1758) who was a famous Nanga artist. He painted a Chinese basket which Tanabe Chikuunsai I (1877-1937) first studied and then reproduced three-dimensionally, and this type of basket became known as the Ryū-Rikyō style. Kameyama Kochikusai is a mysterious artist because we have almost no information about him, except for the years of his birth and death and the area in which he worked. He was based in the Kansai region. It can be assumed that he must have had a relationship with Chikuunsai I and that Tanaka Kōsai was one of his students. He used the plaiting technique and mutsume-ami (hexagonal weaving) techniques to make this piece. The openings of mutsume-ami are quite large, and this device highlights the bouquet. Moreover, the suspension cord’s deep violet color and the basket’s circular shape give this piece a very elegant appearance. Works by this artist can be seen in the Asian Art Museum, Cotsen Collection, San Francisco, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.