Detail: Uematsu Chikuyu, “Sound of Wind,” 1991. Bamboo (madake), rattan, lacquer. Photo © Susan Einstein.
By PAM HARBAUGH
The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts has scored a coup: It is the only Florida stop for the nationally touring exhibition, “Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art.”
The exhibit was curated by Andreas Marks of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and developed by Asian art specialist Margalit Monroe, the works come from the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, California. It explores how bamboo is an intrinsic element in Japanese culture.
It is a rare art form demanding years of apprenticeship and highly detailed skills required from harvesting the bamboo to forming it into aesthetic expression. There are fewer than 100 professional bamboo artists in Japan. The exhibit showcases works by 17 of these artists. Six bamboo artists have been named “Living National Treasures” by Japan and only two of those artists are living — Katsushiro Soho and Fujinuma Noboru, both of whom have works in this exhibition.
The exhibition runs through April 25 at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts. The Center is on the campus of Florida Tech, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne, FL. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free, donations accepted. Call 321-674-8313 or visit http://textiles.fit.edu.