Japanese bamboo artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV’s site-specific installation for OMM greets the visitors at the museum’s main hall. Chikuunsai IV, who comes from one of the most esteemed bamboo artist families of Japan, learned the art at a very young age, from his father and master. He graduated from the sculpture department of Tokyo Fine Arts University in 1999 and went on to pursue his career in Osaka.
Each generation of the bamboo artists of the chikuunsai family are known for preserving this traditional art while at the same time bringing a new dimension. Chikuunsai iv owes his originality to transferring traditional bamboo basket weaving techniques to large-scale site-specific installations, bringing about international acknowledgement to the bamboo art.
For his OMM installation, Chikuunsai IV used the “tiger bamboo” variety, grown only on a mountain in Japan’s Kochi region. While talking about the installation, he says, he “had the four elements in nature as themes, namely water, fire, air and earth. And the fifth element is space. Some call it universe, others call it cosmos. The people I met during my trips to Eskişehir and during my two weeks in the city, and my interactions with them became part of this fifth element.”