Modern Twist, Bamboo Works from the Clark Center and the Art of Motoko Maio
Crow Collection of Asian Art
May 1 through September 5, 2010
Pairing the traditional arts of basket making and screen making, Modern Twist, Bamboo Works from the Clark Center and the Art of Motoko Maio will debut at the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas on Saturday, May 1. For centuries, bamboo baskets and folding screens have played important roles in everyday life, embodying the principle that the fusion of utility and beauty permeates all Japanese art. The dual exhibition will feature a selection of bamboo works by various artists from the Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture in Hanford, California, and exquisite folding screens by artist Motoko Maio. Free and open to the public, the Modern Twist exhibition will run through Sunday, September 5.
“Modern Twist is really two exhibitions in one presentation, with the hope of ‘value added.’ Screens and baskets are quintessential Japanese art forms: both play important roles in ceremonies as well as daily life; both serve functional and artistic purposes; both are steeped in disciplines of craft. And both continue to inspire gifted artists to test boundaries and bring the past forward into the future,” notes Caron Smith, Crow Collection curator.
Bamboo works remained utilitarian in nature until the mid-20th century when a small number of artists left the traditional path and experimented with sculptural forms. This departure into new forms impacted the traditional, utilitarian baskets which today are very sculptural in nature. The exhibition will include 20 bamboo baskets from the mid-1940s to 2008 with a strong emphasis on works from the 21st century. Some of the works have never been exhibited including the “Composition through lines” series by visionary artist Uematsu Chikuyū, an experiment with forms that have openings which appear unfinished.
A solid technical grasp of bamboo is essential to the craftsmanship and artistry of basket making. Yet to gain recognition in the bamboo art world, an artist must also have an innovative artistic edge, the development of which can take a lifetime. Bamboo artists rarely come into their own before the age of 60, after which most remain active for several decades. Even artists in their 40s and 50s are regarded as part of the up-and-coming “younger generation.”
The folding screen of Japan has many facets in addition to the physical attributes of its multiple panels. At the same time, it is fine art, decorative art, furniture and symbolic object. With historical reincarnations over 400 years, the folding screen remains an emblematic representation of Japanese cultural artistry. The Crow Collection will present the most contemporary expression of this traditional form in the works of Motoko Maio, with three multi-fold screens featured in the Modern Twist exhibition. Using traditional techniques and materials in dramatically innovative ways, as well as playing with form, Motoko pays tribute to this stately art while totally transforming it and placing it securely in a 21st century social and artistic context.
While folding screens are conventionally six-fold or 12-fold, Motoko’s signature work is the unique 13-fold screen. Intrigued by the idea of gradually increasing fold-sections, Motoko created a screen that looks like a graduated cube when folded and when opened extends more than 16 feet, resembling a large serpent. Born in 1948 in Tokyo, Motoko has been reinventing the art of byobu (folding screens) for more than 20 years, using traditional techniques and materials to express contemporary themes. In her words, “It is both a painting and an object – a bewitchingly ambivalent form.”
Admission is free and open to the public. The Crow Collection of Asian Art is open Tuesdays – Thursdays (10 a.m. – 9 p.m.), Fridays – Sundays (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and closed on Mondays.
For more information, please go to crowcollection.org or call 214-979-6430.
About The Crow Collection
The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art is located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. The Crow Collection is a permanent set of galleries dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. LinkAsia, the newly dedicated gallery space at the Crow Collection, presents art works that provide a contemporary global path to understanding Asia through unique perspectives and mediums. The museum offers a serene setting for both quiet reflection and learning, which spans from the ancient to the contemporary.
About The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture
In 1995, the Clark Center, located six miles south of the town of Hanford, was founded by Elizabeth and Willard G. “Bill” Clark to “collect, conserve, study, and exhibit” the paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts of Japan. The rapidly growing collection is comprised of many distinguished works representing artistic activity in Japan from the 10th into the 21st century. The Clark Center’s collection has amassed to around 1,700 works of art including hanging scrolls, screens, ceramics, kimono, wood sculptures, and contemporary works of bamboo. Showing three to four exhibitions per year, the Clark Center is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 12:30 to 5 p.m.