Thursday, February 18, 2010

Artists: Sayaka Kajita Ganz & Contemporary Bamboo Masters

Sayaka Kajita Ganz is a Japanese sculptor who now resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Make sure to check out her gallery of breathtaking sculptures made from recycled materials. Her work as an undeniable elegance to it that captures movement effortlessly.

Acting as a delicious juxtaposition to Ganz's pieces is the work of contemporary Japanese bamboo masters whom we featured at the JS gallery during the 2008/2009 winter exhibit.

Over the past few years, Japanese bamboo artists have reached far beyond the established boundaries of their craft. Our exhibition was the first in the world to be devoted exclusively to Japanese bamboo as a sculptural medium, featuring 23 innovators, old and young, who exploit to the full the tension between traditional skill and new expressive opportunities. Ranging from ethereal, computer-designed filigrees, through dramatic wall pieces to angry-looking, dirt-encrusted tangles and anthropomorphic, sexually charged sculptures, the 90+ works we had on display demonstrated awesome technique, meticulous attention to detail, and extraordinary creativity.

The piece above, entitled Breath, was crafted by Honma Kazuaki (born 1930), who moved beyond simple sculpture and flower baskets in the 1960s to create a series of bamboo paintings that earned him the two Tokusen prizes necessary to become a full member of Japan's Nitten world. Honma is the only living bamboo artist to achieve this status and has used his position to encourage other bamboo artists to expand their vision.

Despite the drastically different mediums, the sculptures of Ganz and bamboo masters such as Kazuaki have an unmistakeable fluidity to them. There is life and movement captured in the exquisitely crafted pieces and it is obvious that they are devoted masters of the materials they employ.

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