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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Hawk Feather Knot Hexagonal Flower Basket
Date: 2004
Medium: Madake bamboo and rattan
Dimensions: 12 1/2 x 9 in. (31.8 x 22.9 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of Ritalou Rogow Harris, Class of 1957, and Robert O. Harris
Object Number: 2012.015.033
Label Text: The first bamboo artist to sign his work was Hayagawa Shokosai I (1815-1897). His great-great grandson Hayakawa Shokosai V continues the family tradition in Kyoto, and was trained as previous generations of bamboo artists were, spending 5 years or more doing only menial tasks and learning proper preparation of the bamboo, before being allowed to create his first basket. The Hayakawa family tradition of working bamboo involves the tedious and exacting process of stripping the skin and staining the bamboo with a dye derived from plum tree wood. Shokosai V continues to employ these techniques to give a beautiful luster to the surface, but his forms and designs are fresh and modern. As he became experienced working with bamboo, the artist “began to realize that just as we have feelings, so does bamboo. It tells you how it likes to be shaped if you listen carefully. I constantly talk to and listen to it now. When I can communicate with the bamboo, the work goes smoothly and a beautiful basket is born.”

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.