These are exciting times for Japanese bamboo art. May 2017 saw the opening of Japan House Sao Paulo, whose inaugural exhibition 'Bamboo: The Material That Built Japan' drew over 300,000 visitors. From June 2017 to February 2018 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York mounted another bamboo show that was seen by about 400,000. From 27 November, the Musee du quai Branly in Paris will present the largest-ever exhibition on the subject. This authoritative catalogue of 323 works from the Naej Collection thus appears at a moment when a new global audience has emerged. The Naej Collection is especially strong in works by leading artists from 1850 to 1950, when great craft dynasties were established and first Osaka and then Tokyo emerged as major centres of artistic basketry. The catalogue breaks new ground by combining dramatic photography with precious documentary information drawn from signatures and inscriptions, making it not merely the visual record of a great collection but the essential reference work for a developing field of connoisseurship.
Text in English, Japanese and simplified Chinese.
Joe Earle was Director of Japan Society Gallery in New York until 2012 and has held leadership positions in Asian art departments at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Over the past 38 years he has curated, organized, or written catalogues for numerous exhibitions of contemporary Japanese art, craft, and design, including Japan Style (London, 1980), Japanese Ceramics Today (the Kikuchi Collection, London, 1983), The Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art (London, 1986), Visions of Japan (London, 1991), Splendors of Meiji: Treasures of Imperial Japan (Wilmington DE and Portland OR, 1999 and 2002), Contemporary Clay: Japanese Ceramics for the New Century (Boston and New York, 2005 and 2006), New Bamboo (Boston and New York, 2006 and 2008), Serizawa: Master of Japanese Textile Design, (New York, 2009), Bye Bye Kitty!!!: Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art (New York, 2011), Fiber Futures: Japan's Textile Pioneers (New York, 2011), New Forms, New Voices: Japanese Ceramics from the Gitter-Yelen Collection (New Orleans, 2017). He is now based in London.
Raised in Switzerland, Bertrand Stark set out on graduation from Paris University on a career with an investment bank which sent him straight to Hong Kong. From there his life as a banker took him to the top financial capitals of the world. When after ten years he was recalled to the bank's headquarters, he decided to become a photographer. He embarked on his new career by assisting leading photographers in Germany, the USA and France. After three years' intensive training, he set up his own freelance practice in fashion. Now back in Asia, he works in the world of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle photography, contributing to fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Numero, as well as undertaking advertising assignments for brands like L'Oreal, Nivea, Wella, Opel, Schwarzkopf, and Shanghai Tang. His work has been exhibited at the Pin-Up Studio in Paris and at the Pingyao International Photography Festival and his photographs feature in a number of books on fashion and beauty. He teaches fashion photography at the Conde Nast Center for Fashion and Design in Shanghai.