Isohi Setsuko Japanese Bamboo Art Exhibition
July 30, 2021 - August 28, 2021
Isohi Setsuko is only the third woman bamboo artist to gain full membership in the Japan Craft Arts Association. Isohi has received numerous awards and prizes over the course of her career, but one of her greatest achievements was winning Best of Show at the 2010 Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition. Over the course of the 62-year history of this prestigious art competition, only three bamboo artists have ever won this prize.
“I have learned so much from my predecessors and senior artists,” Isohi explains. “In this solo show, I decided to include works that feature the arrow-pattern techniques I learned from Hayakawa-sensei, and the masawari (radial splitting of bamboo) technique I learned from Katsushiro-sensei to pay them my respect.” Isohi’s strength as an artist can be seen in the way she makes these techniques her own, incorporating them into her own precisionist, elegant style. Other works showcase the subtle sophistication of her quadruple layered hexagonal plaiting; each of the four layers is tinted darker than the last, creating a wonderful sense of depth.
The artist used to hate her given name, Setsuko, because of how old-fashioned it sounds. However, since it contains the Chinese character for “bamboo node,” she now likes her name. “I believe it was my destiny to become a bamboo artist.”