This work, titled 'Enso', were made and released in 2016 by Tanabe Chikuunsai IV. A number of 'Enso' have been created within his works; although each has its own form and delicate craftsmanship, the series is unified around a general circle theme.
'Enso' generally refers to the drawing of a circle with brush and black ink. As in the absolute being and Buddha nature of Zen, it is one way of expressing an absolute truth that cannot be expressed with characters or language, or enlightenment itself. We think this 'enso', a hanging scroll for tea ceremony, looks like the word(drawing) of Zen with which we are familiar. Others are said to express unbroken harmony and unsullied, perfectly true nature. How an 'Enso' is felt, however, varies depending on the circumstances of the viewer and their mental state at the time. It thus has no clear meaning, which is a characteristic of Zen terminology. 'Enso' is a wonderful precept and gives us many things to ponder.
If you look at this work from the horizontal side, it appears much different from a circle. The shape seems that evokes a great current. A cycle of going up to the sky from the earth, then down again, spreading out as it falls, again and again.Perhaps it is not only me who feels this impression.
When you look at one work from a different angle, it is fascinating to see it take an entirely different form. The whole does not become clear unless you look at it from every angle - the same goes for people and all things. This enlightenment-like significance comes from the fact that it is because this piece is named 'Enso' of Zen.
Lines that look beautiful and elegant from any angle - this can be said of the material bamboo, a trait that likely comes from its pliancy and strength.
Facing the light from the window, its form becomes even more alluring. The lines spreading radially from the interior are pleasantly even, and the concentric lines intersect rhythmically so as to bring the whole piece together. The coiled design in the center has a softness that relieves the work’s tension, creating a wonderful scene that feels like gazing upon a round stained-glass window.
We next turn our eyes to the fine details of this work.
Each individual bamboo stick is incredibly smooth, treated to have the same width, thickness, and curve. None of the 57 bamboo sticks that comprise the shape of this 'Enso' are out of line, and are all beautifully arranged. While sticks are a familiar element in bamboo basket works, it must have been an extraordinary process to prepare the materials used in this work: shaping bamboo cut down in a forest, drying it, whittling it, bending it, and more. But the greatest appeal of this 'Enso' is that its lightness and freshness give no sense of such hard work. Even a lightness like relaxed can be felt from its minute details.
The beauty when seen as a whole, the emotion felt when focusing on the details.
A new kind of bamboo craft not meant to serve as a flower basket, bamboo as art makes us consider its true possibilities.
size：56cm x 56cm x 20.5cm
Tanabe Chikuunsai Ⅳ Official site
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