Abe Motoshi


(born 1942)

Nothing predestined Abe Motoshi to become a bamboo artist. His story is closely linked with that of his father, who had been afflicted since birth with a serious bone disease. Originally from a village in the mountains of Northern Oita Prefecture, the Abe family had to move to the spa town of Beppu in order for him to have access to treatment, and settled permanently in this cradle of bamboo culture. He became a kagoshi, artisan bamboo weaver, at the beginning of the Shōwa era (1926-1989), and gradually transmitted his passion to his son Motoshi who took to the vocation very naturally.

After his secondary studies at the Midorigaoka school in Beppu, Abe Motoshi became the disciple of Shōno Shōunsai (1904-1974), the first bamboo artist to be named a Living National Treasure in 1967. He strived tirelessly for excellence, as his works clearly show, while preserving a deep sense of humility and respect for his teacher. Many public collections have works of his, including the MET in New-York, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the V & A in London.