I spent a couple of hours at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV, St Kilda Rd).
Bamboo groves are synonymous with the Japanese landscape, and crafting items from bamboo is one of the oldest technical skills developed in Japan. Bamboo baskets have been used in Buddhist ceremonies and the Japanese tea ceremony.
A small selection of the works:
"Mareta Shell" and Kimono with character designs (stencil-dyed banana-bark cloth)
by HIRO Yasushi and SERIZAWA Keisuke
"Outburst" by OKI Toshie
"Enso" by TANABE Shochiku
"Layered Lotus Petals" by ISHOHI Setsuko
"Tray with Handle" by ISHOHI Setsuko
"Basket Handbag" by TANABE Chikuhosai
"Flower basket using uneven weaving technique" by HAYAKAWA Skokosai V
"Heaven's Nest" by SUGIURA Noriyoshi
"Insect Cage"by Unknown Japanese Weaver
During the twentieth century individual artists reinterpreted these traditions to create imaginative forms and vessels for flower arrangements. Now in the twenty-first century, a new generation of innovators from diverse backgrounds are creating an astounding variety of works of art that can be appreciated as contemporary sculptural forms.