Higashi Takesonosai 東竹園斎 (1915-2003)

Bamboo Flower Basket, titled "Fragrant Breeze"

Inv. Nr. #21.004
Date Shōwa period, mid 1970s
Material Bamboo, rattan, lacquer
Dimensions H 37,4 x W 19,3 x D 15,5 cm

Comes with fitted, signed and sealed wooden box.

Price: EUR 6.500

A bamboo flower basket made of lacquered bamboo and rattan, knit by Higashi Takesonosai (1915-2003). The basket is titled "Fragrant Breeze" (kunpū). The name refers to the south wind in early summer that brings the fragrance of fresh green. The poetic name fits perfectly with the light, airy impression of the basket's thousand-line construction (sensuji gumi), which rises conically from a square woven base (yotsumi ami). The handle, made of two split bamboo strips, is attached to the side, starting at the base and stretching in a wide arch above the basket.


Higashi Takesonosai is considered one of the leading bamboo artists of the later twentieth century. He received early training from the Kyōto based basket makers Kaneka Chikkasai (dates unknown) and Wada Rinshi (dates unknown), but began to develop his own creative style as early as the 1930s. His first solo exhibition as an independent artist was in 1937. His first participation in the prestigious National Exhibition (Nitten) was in 1952. Since then, he gradually began to move from Chinese-style objects (karamono) to a range of expressive new techniques like the one seen here.


Signed below: Takesonosai. Comes with original inscribed, signed and sealed wooden box (original workshop label on the inside of the lid) and original otoshi (lacquered bamboo pipe water holder for flowers).


One of the most important collections of Takesonosai's works was assembled by the American collector Lloyd Cotsen, who maintained a friendship with the artist for over twenty-five years. The Cotsen Collection is now held by the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.


References (exemplary):

Lloyd Cotsen/ Robert Coffland: The Bamboo Basket Art of Higashi Takesonosai, Art Media Resources Ltd (2002).

Joe Earle: Baskets. Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art 1850-2015, John Adamson Dist A/C (2018), pp. 442-445 and p. 546.