Nagakura Kenichi Bio/CV

(1952-2018)

"For me it is very important to use parts of a bamboo plant from above ground and parts from below ground," Nagakura said. "I like to add bamboo roots to some of my work as a reminder of the dark side of life."

Unaffiliated with any of Japan's craft arts organizations, Nagakura was the first recipient of the Cotsen Bamboo Prize, awarded in 2000, and an esteemed independent artist for more than 20 years.

 His organic, contemporary pieces are rooted in the functional baskets made for centuries for flower arranging at Japanese tea ceremonies but also borrow from wide-ranging sources, including European sculpture, the American pop art movement, indigenous Japanese forms, and cord-patterned clay work from the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. His fine plaiting mimics complex line drawing and the graceful shapes of his vessels are inspired by human form and by objects from the natural world, such as fallen leaves, emerging shoots, and cocoons.

 Nagakura began his career dyeing fabric for kimonos but quickly realized he wanted to make artwork, like ceramics, that had an inherent vitality. He spent three years splitting bamboo for his grandfather, who was a bamboo craftsman. Several years later he brought his work to a contemporary gallery that gave him a solo show. He was passionate about jazz, classical, and rock music, and strived to elicit the "rhythm and harmony" of bamboo. Nagakura's work is in the collection of the Ruth and Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Asian Art Museum.

 

N a g a k u r a K e n i c h i | CV

1952-2018, Shizuoka City, Japan

 

E d u c a t i o n

1975, Studied under his Grandfather

 

E x i h i b i t i o n s + A c c o l a d e s

1982, Solo exhibition, Gallery Takei, Numazu

1985, Solo exhibition, Shin-Gifu Department Store

1986, Solo exhibition, Gallery Takei, Numazu and at Shizuoka Gas Salon

1988, Solo exhibition, Sapoa People, Tokyo and MOA Gallery,Nagoya

1990, Solo exhibition, Umeda Hankyu Department Store, Osaka

1990, Solo exhibition, Gallery Kouki, Paris, France

1991, Solo exhibition, La Richipel Surle, Bourgogne, France

1991, Solo exhibition, Gallery Kukan, Shizuoka and at Shoumeido Hall, Tokyo

1992, Solo exhibition, Gallery Space Ten, Tokyo

1992, Group exhibition, Gallery Yummy, Hamamatsu and at StudioCom, Kyoto

1993, Solo exhibition, Shoumeido Hall, Gallery F and Gifu Gallery, Space Ten, Tokyo

1993, Solo exhibition, Hokushin Gallery, Tokyo

1994, Solo exhibition, Studio Com, Kyoto and at Gallery Kukan, Shizuoka

1994, Solo exhibition, Matsuya Department Store, Tokyo

1995, Solo exhibitions: Akasaka Yu Gallery, Tokyo; Fujii,Numazu and, Shin-Gifu Department Stores

1996, Solo exhibitions: Isetan, Shizuoka and Kanazawa Dept.Stores

1996, Two person exhibition, Ishigami-no-Oka Open Air Museum, Iwate

1997, Solo exhibition, Gallery Kasumi and at Axis Sapoa People, Tokyo

1997, Exhibition, German Culture Center, Tokyo

1998, Solo exhibitions, Kura Gallery, Gifu and at Axis Sapoa People, Tokyo

1998, Group Exhibition, Kodaira Shomei Hall, Tokyo

1998, SOFA Chicago

1999, Solo exhibition, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2000, Bamboo Masterworks, Asia Society, New York

2000, International Asian Art Fair, New York

2000, SOFA New York

2000, SOFA Chicago

2000, International 20th Century Art Fair, New York

2001, Winner, Cotsen Bamboo Prize 2000

2001, Bamboo Masterworks, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

2001, Int’l. Asian Art Fair, SOFA, and Int’l. 20th Century Art Fair, New York

2001, SOFA Chicago and Arts of Pacific Asia Show, San Francisco

2001, Solo exhibition, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2001, Bamboo Masterworks, Honolulu Academy of Art, Hawaii

2001, Bamboo Fantasies, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2002, The Next Generation, University of Arkansas, Little Rock

2002, International Art & Design Fair, New York

2002, Arts of Pacific Asia Show, San Francisco

2002, International Asian Art Fair and SOFA, New York

2002, SOFA Chicago

2002, Group Exhibition, Tigerman Himmel Gallery, Chicago

2003, SOFA New York and International Art & Design Fair, New York

2003, Hali Fair, London

2003, Three Views of Bamboo: Fujinuma, Nagakura, Shono; Kansas City Jewish Museum, Overland Park

2003, Solo Exhibition, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2003, SOFA Chicago

2004, Antiques Chicago

2004, SOFA Chicago

2004, The San Francisco International Art Exhibition

2004, SOFA, Int’l. Art and Design Fair, Int’l. Asian Art Fair, New York

2004, Group Exhibition, Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond,Virginia

2005, Palm Beach!, Florida

2005,The San Francisco International Art Exhibition

2005, The Int’l. Art and Design Fair and Int’l. Asian ArtFair, New York

2005, Solo Exhibition, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2005, SOFA Chicago

2005, Exhibited at the Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York

2006, International Asian Art Fair, New York

2006, Art Miami, Florida

2006, Power & Delicacy, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, NewMexico

2006, Hin: The Quiet Beauty of Japanese Art, Grinnell College, Iowa

2006, Hin: The Quiet Beauty of Japanese Art, Chicago Cultural Center

2006, Group Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

2006, Collaboration with Daniel Ost at Nocturne, Brussels, Belgium

2007, Solo Exhibition, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2007, Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona

2007, Arts of Pacific Asia Show, San Francisco

2007, Palm Beach!, Florida

2007, Listening to Bamboo: Japanese Baskets from the Collection of Ritalou & Robert Harris, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

2007, International Asian Art Fair, New York

2008, Arts of Pacific Asia Show, San Francisco

2008, SOFA New York and International Asian Art Fair, New York

2008, Palm Beach!, Florida

2008, New Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Masters, The Japan Society, New York

2009, SOFA New York

2009, Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection, The New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe

2009, SOFA West: Santa Fe, New Mexico

2009, Art Miami

2009, New Bamboo, Clark Center for Japanese Art &Culture, Hanford, California

2009, Solo Exhibition, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2009, Form Follows Function or Does It?, University ofArkansas at Little Rock

2009, Listening to Bamboo, Johnson Museum of Art, CornellUniversity, Ithaca NY

2010, Museum Exhibition, Intertwined Bamboo and Stem, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Los Angeles

2010, Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection, Museum of Art and Design, New York

2010, SOFA New York

2010, SOFA Chicago

2010, Art Chicago

2010, Dallas Art Fair

2010, SOFA West: Santa Fe, New Mexico

2010, Int’l. Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, New York

2010, Art Miami

2011, Dallas Art Fair

2011, SOFA New York

2011, Art Chicago

2011, Art Antiques London

2011, Solo Exhibition, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2011, SOFA West: Santa Fe, New Mexico

2011, Houston Art Fair

2011, Int’l. Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show, New York

2011, SOFA Chicago

2012, SOFA New York

2012, Solo Exhibition, Nagakura Kenichi: Fluid Duality, Denver Botanic Gardens

2012, Int’l. Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, New York

2013, Birds in the Art of Japan, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

2013, Solo Show, TAI Gallery, Santa Fe

2014, SOFA Chicago

2017, Masterpieces of Japanese Bamboo Art, TAI Modern at Joan B Mirviss LTD, New York, NY

 

M u s e u m C o l l e c t i o n s

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture, Hanford, California

Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, North Carolina

F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University