Art of bamboo basketry for ikebana or tea ceremony, until April 7th, 2019


Japanese bamboo basketry confers upon some of its creators, who have become master weavers of the material, the prestigious status of Living National Treasures. Yesterday dedicated to traditional basket making, the contemporary art of bamboo basketry has transformed itself by disregarding the function of the object.


Bamboo is everywhere in Japan with around 600 endemic species, that are among the most favourable for human activities. It grows quickly and straight, it is flexible, rot-resistant and can be easily adapted for many of man’s basic requirements: food, the construction of shelters, instruments and containers.


Bamboo requires lengthy preparation in the art of basketry. Once the stems are harvested and stripped, it is essential to extract the oil from the bamboo through a number of heating processes followed by a period of drying. The bamboo strips to be woven are all made through an entirely manual process that is demanding and complex, especially when the artist wants links that are particularly delicate or cut at a particular angle. Rattan, essential for the finishing touches, is imported from South East Asia.


Handcrafted since the 10th century, they have become works of art from the 19th century. The role of the makers developed as well, from artisan to artist. It is the appearance of the great lineages of masters in the art of bamboo.
Photos © Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

Fendre l'air, Art of bamboo in Japan until April 7th, 2019 >>

Monday 3 December 2018, 10:40