Working with bamboo, it is almost impossible to have total control over the form that you intend to make. When I make my art, I am in constant dialogue with the bamboo. This material’s unique pliability allows me to draw beautiful, naturally curving lines in space. The textures I create cannot be achieved with any other medium. I feel great satisfaction when working together with bamboo leads me to create a sculpture beyond my imagination.
Japanese bamboo artist Honda Syoryu uses some of the most common techniques passed down from early basket makers, yet he is able to adapt these traditional techniques to create completely original sculptural forms. Much of Honda’s work draws employs twining and twill plaiting. By controlling the width and thickness of his twined bamboo strips and altering the spacing between each row, the artist transforms what would be a simple cylinder into the dynamic, undulating shapes of his signature “Dance” series. In his “Rhythm” series, he rolls up a length of flat twill plaiting into a tube, which he bends and ties into an elegant, looping composition. Though these techniques have been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years, no one ever used them in the ways Honda does.
In his second solo exhibition at TAI Modern, Honda is introducing two brand-new series. In the “Spring” series, a synthesis of two earlier bodies of work, Honda bundles and coils airy twined tubes into free-form shapes. Also new is the “Ring” series. Other than Honda, who else could create something fresh out of the bullseye plaiting (rinko-ami) which has been used as the base of baskets for centuries!