"Godai - Tanabe Chikuunsai IV and Tadayuki Minamoto" by Shinya Maezaki

Godai - Tanabe Chikuunsai IV and Tadayuki Minamoto Shinya Maezaki, Tadayuki Minamoto

Publication date:
28 Apr 2017
Five Continents Editions
128 pages: 284 x 287 x 17mm

This monumental work, six meters high and nearly as broad at its base, was installed in 2016 in the Rotunda of the Musee des Arts Asiatiques Guimet in Paris and presented to the public from April 12th through September 19th, when the artist still presented himself under the name of Tanabe Shouchiku III. The structure, composed of 8,000 small pieces of bamboo prepared in Japan, was extremely well received. It represents a world where the five elements, godoi, that make up our world (wind, water, earth, void and fire, according to Japanese tradition) intertwine. Tanabe couldn't find a more suitable material. As a tough yet flexible material, bamboo has been part of the lives of people in Asia since ancient times and used for numerous purposes. But because of its great significance (it represents "principles, integrity and constancy") it has also been represented in many historic paintings and used as a design motif in stationery and furniture.Tanabe Shochiku's works are both historic and modern and invite a response from the viewer. His bamboo installations, presented in a form adapted to the space they are displayed in, induce viewers to be aware of and appreciate that space. Each work is dismantled at the end of the exhibition to leave just its memory. And the same bamboo is used for new installations, giving a tangible sense to the concepts of "continuity" and "rebirth" and providing a sense of connection with space that transcends time. Godai is no exception: a monumental and ephemeral work, like a piece of organic architecture, it transmits positive energy.

Shinya Maezaki is an associate professor at Kyoto Women's University.||Tadayuki Minamoto is a celebrated Japanese photographer.