Kawashima Shigeo


(born 1958)

Originally from Tokyo, Kawashima Shigeo was still a young man when he moved to Kyushu and discovered the simplicity of bamboo - a simplicity which corresponded to a lifestyle he had dreamt of since his childhood. Once he had completed his education, he began a tortured relationship with this hollow stemmed grass. He was twenty-seven years old when a major change took place: working bamboo irritated him, but he said ".../... I realized that bamboo and I were inseparable. I could not leave it behind since it was already a part of me. One thing I remember is that I wanted no part of the process of preparing the bamboo for plaiting, which requires particularly meticulous attention. The fact that bamboo and I are in an indivisible relationship is the only reason for which I have not abandoned it. I really don't know how to manage the material, and I've wound up attaching bamboo to itself instead of weaving it."
Kawashima Shigeo's work is unique and multiform. His aerial pieces appear arrogantly yet lightly floating in the air of San Francisco's Asian Art Museum and Oita's Prefectural Museum, while his monumental exterior installations defy the elements as they slowly disintegrate, reminding as they do of the ephemeral nature of life.