Uematsu Chikuyū (1947-)



Bamboo basket with a handle
Susudake (smoked bamboo)
Signed: Chikuyū zō (Made by Chikuyū)
Uematsu Chikuyū (1947-)
H:22cm, L:36.5cm, D:23.5cm
Heisei 27(2015), January
Tomobako, original box signed by the artist

Made of the smoked bamboo, called susudake. Susudake is a bamboo which was used as a frame work to construct a Japanese traditional house. The bamboos get a shiny brown patina as if it was lacquered after having been exposed the smoke of the fire of hearth. Some parts which were bound with the cords remain almost the original bamboo color. Its natural pattern is valued highly, and it is getting more and more difficult to obtain as the Japanese traditional houses disappear.
Uematsu Chikuyū made use of the natural pattern with his abilities to the full, and succeeded to make a unique masterpiece. He used one susudake on making the thin strips carefully. The marks of the cord make an inclined pattern like the ripples on a beautiful shoal of the beautiful sea. The reverse side of bamboo is white original color of bamboo, so he dyed them red. That resulted the color of the bottom and the handle. The rattan strings to attach the bamboo are extremely fine and made the perfectly modest finishing of the work.
He named this piece tasukigake, which means “cording diagonally”. Well named. A similar piece seen in “Lundy Collection – The Birth of Modern Bamboo Art focusing on Hōsai II and Rōkansai”, Tochigi Kuranomachi Museum of Art, 2013, plate 62.

Uematsu Chikuyū (1947- ) is born in Tokyo. Given name is Tsugio. Graduated from the Beppu Vocational Finishing high school. Working in Beppu, created a large number of flower baskets in such transparent weaves as ajiro-ami weave, nawa-mutsume-ami weave, and kikkō-ami weave. Moved to Kanagawa prefecture, and for the past ten plus years has worked in objet-like reliefs. In recent years has primarily used madake and kurochiku for his materials as he works on new forms on the theme of “wind”. Exhibited in the Seibu kōgēten exhibition from 1975 through 1982, in the Japan Traditional Art Crafts exhibitions from 1976 through 1979, and in 1992 exhibited in the Suntory Prize Exhibition ’92.
Quotation from the catalogue “Bamboo Masterworks/Japanese Baskets from the Lloyd Cotsen Collection