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Tanabe Chikuunsai IV

Wednesday Aug 7, 2019

Additional Dates:

1601 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Phone: 505-984-1387
Website: Click to Visit






Amy Weber

Phone: (505) 984 1387
Website: Click to Visit

More events at Tai Modern

Artist Reception: July 26, 2019 | 5 pm to 7 pm
Artist Presentation: July 27, 2019 | 3 pm to 4 pm

In the world of Japanese art, it’s hard to miss Tanabe Chikuunsai IV. From his colossal installations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museé Guimet to recent solo exhibitions in Paris and Belgium, Tanabe has emerged as a leader and representative for a younger generation of bamboo artists.

TAI Modern is pleased to present its upcoming exhibition Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, in which the artist will create a site-specific installation within the gallery’s walls over a two-week period prior to the exhibition’s opening reception.

“For this exhibition, I will create a conceptual bamboo art installation within a gallery space. Beginning in 2011, these large-scale spatial art installations are the basis of my current artistic activities. For installations, I use tiger bamboo with tiger-striped patterns that grow in Suzaki in Kochi prefecture. At the end of each exhibition, the installation is dismantled into raw material. The same material is then used for a different installation to be built in a new space. Although each installation is subsequently deconstructed, the same tiger bamboo is connected to each successive installation,” states the artist.

Tanabe was born to one of Japan's most prestigious bamboo pedigrees and is the fourth generation of his family to take the artist name Chikuunsai, meaning “master of the bamboo clouds.” Tanabe works hard to keep his family’s heritage alive by mastering the styles and techniques that the Tanabe family is known for, while also establishing his own original artistic voice. “’Tradition’ is different from ‘transmission.’ With ‘transmission,’ you continue to make the same thing regardless of era,” the artist explains, “but ‘tradition’ always takes up the challenge of the new, and its innovations in turn become tradition to be linked with what follows.”

For example, the organic forms of Tanabe’s rough-woven sculptures and baskets, often incorporating bamboo roots, share a technique as well as a fluidity and living energy with seminal works by his grandfather and uncle, but have a completely contemporary feel.

Recently, Tanabe has begun collaborating with the computer scientist and designer Kaijima Sawako, a professor at Harvard University, on the works in the Disappear series. These streamlined openwork sculptures are designed with the assistance of computer software then masterfully translated into the medium of bamboo with the assistance of 3D-printed resin molds.

The artist has received many accolades. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musee du Quai Branley-Jacques Chirac, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Museé Guimet, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, among others.

The opening is Friday, July 26 from 5-7pm. As bamboo art is truly a family affair for Tanabe, the artist and his children will be giving a presentation and demonstration for the public on Saturday, July 27 from 3-4pm. TAI Modern is open Monday through Saturday from 10am-5pm. For further information, image requests, to view the installation in process, or for artist interviews, please contact the gallery at (505) 984-1387 or