“Bamboo basketry for me is an expression of detailed precision. These baskets represent a search for the beauty and precision in nature and a way to balance the chaos evident in these times.” Jiro Yonezawa has been a bamboo artist for the best part of forty years and he has honed his craft inside the distinct cultures of Japan and the United States, and across three formative periods in his life.
ARKO is a self-described ‘straw artist’ who has been applying her creative approach to traditional craft since 2002. Represented by the Somewhere Tokyo design gallery, her use of natural materials and age-old techniques re-insert fading customs back into modern life. An agglomeration of rice straw, her wall-mounted artworks hark back to a more traditional era. Once woven into everyday Japanese life – from footwear, to clothes and blankets – the material is now mainly used in the holy ornaments for the Shimenawa New Year ceremony.
Forgoing their preferred materials of rattan and cane, Shizu Okino has embraced the challenge to work with leather and produced a selection of Ikebana vases for the Salone art show. Respecting the exactitude of the flower arranging practice, the five vessels have been woven with flair and precision, ensuring they are fit for the finest of Japanese flower arrangements.
Hafu Matsumoto produces ethereal sculptures by weaving together segments of flattened bamboo. He was trained as an apprentice by the master bamboo-weaver Iizuka Shōkansai, who was the last in the line of Japan´s most celebrated bamboo craft dynasty. “Fresh, green bamboo possesses more than enough beauty on its own. I cut its life short so the least I can do is to preserve its suppleness forever by sealing it within bamboo basketry.”
Intertwining textile weaving techniques such as crochet and macramé into her basketry, Galician artisan Idoia Cuesta is inspired by the surrounding landscape, local traditions and the vernacular of Irish, Finnish, and Danish basketry, as well as traditional Asian handweaving and braiding. From her studio, which sits on the edge of a biosphere reserve near Lugo, she researches, experiments, and collaborates, leading to creative new expressions of her craft.