Asian studies in Lithuania

Japanese Fiber Art Exhibition “Basketry”

Date and time: 2018-09-14 17:00 - 2018-11-10 12:00

Location: Janinos Monkutės-Marks muziejus-galerija, J. Basanavičiaus g. 45, Kėdainiai

ARKA Gallery continues the collaboration with Japanese artists. In 2017 the exhibition of Japanese fiber art from the collection of Janina Monkute-Marks Museum-Gallery in Kėdainiai was exhibited along with the international Textile Miniatures Biennial ETHNO.

This year, the visitors will be introduced to the world-famous art of Japanese basketry. The exhibition of small scale artworks by Japanese artists complements the Textile Biennial (RE)CREATE. The collection of several dozen works (curator and artist Kakuko Ishii) includes pieces created by the members of the Basketry Exhibition Group that has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. This Japanese artist group, active since 1980s and now uniting nearly one hundred members, develops archaic basketry techniques and adapts them to contemporary spatial compositions. This international textile branch originating from the traditional basketry has found a fertile ground in Japan, which can boast of very old basketry traditions. The braiding of natural fibers, paper, or wire reveals the unsurpassed ability of the Japanese to convey the intrinsic beauty of the material and to employ it purposefully to highlight the structure of the item creating subtle hints and multi-layered subtexts. The displays of the Basketry Exhibition Group travel around the world introducing the culture of Japan and the inexhaustible possibilities of using the ancient technologies in contemporary arts. The opening ceremony will be attended by the collection’s curator Kakuko Ishii and the representatives of the Basketry Exhibition Group: Haruko Sugawara, Noriko Hagino, Akiko Mio, Masayo Kageyama, and Nobuko Ueda.

Art researcher dr. Lijana Šatavičiūtė

Our Basketry Exhibition Group

This exhibition is Japanese Basketry as Fiber work of art which let material and the technique of the basket unfold creatively.

Through 1980, I explored basketmaking, especially focusing on the interplay of material and structural mechanism.  And I started a class to introduce a conceptual approach to basketmaking in Japan. Some of my students from that period have been presiding over an annual basketry show since then to cultivate a new ground in Japan. The first show was held at Senbikiya Gallery, Chuo-ku Tokyo in 1986.The objective was then, and still is now, to generate mutual learning and promotion. In Japan, compared with the government-supported field for traditional art bamboo basketry and mingei folk basketry, the field for the contemporary basketry remains small and still not well known. The group avoided forming a so-called art/craft association or exclusive school of a core artist. I knew that in the Japanese cultural climate such attempts had seen quick rise and fall in a short time, for the exclusive/authoritative nature of organizations tends to distort its original ideal. It is a shared regard that binds our group and the conviction that each should be a leader to oneself and to the group, besides being a creative basketmaker.

Artist, curator Kakuko Ishii

Web link:

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU