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NASHVILLE, TN. – Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art will host an exhibition of contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art this spring entitled Modern Twist. The exhibition will open March 22, kicking off with special programming and events inspired by bamboo art and the Japanese culture.

With rare wall-hung installations and pieces never before seen in the United States, Modern Twist brings 38 works by 17 of the most visionary bamboo artists to Cheekwood. Two of the featured artists hold the prestigious title of Living National Treasure, an honor awarded to only six bamboo artists since 1967. Katsushiro Sōhō’s Sunset Glow and Fujinuma Noboru’s Spring Tide and Gentle Heart exemplify this incredible level of skill and artistic ingenuity. Other artists represented include Matsumoto Hafū, Honma Hideaki, Ueno Masao, Uematsu Chikuyū, Nagakura Ken’ichi, Tanabe Chikuunsai III, Tanabe Yōta, Tanabe Shōchiku III, Tanioka Shigeo, Tanioka Aiko, Honda Shōryū, Mimura Chikuhō, Nakatomi Hajime, Sugiura Noriyoshi, and Yonezawa Jirō.

Modern Twist celebrates the art of making bamboo baskets, a quintessential part of Japanese culture and an expression of the country’s social, artistic, and spiritual landscape. While these baskets were traditionally used to hold flower arrangements, the medium has been elevated to art form status in the last century as awareness of the skill and artistry of its craftsmen has grown. As an artistic medium, bamboo is as challenging as it is abundant; mastering the art requires decades of meticulous practice learning how to harvest, split, and plait the bamboo. Fewer than 100 professional bamboo artists are working in Japan today.

“We’re honored to host Modern Twist at Cheekwood this spring,” said Jane MacLeod, President and CEO. “The activities we have planned in conjunction with this exhibition will enrich our visitors’ experience as they encounter, appreciate, and learn about the evolution of this revered art form. Making art and nature accessible to our community is at the core of our mission, and it’s a joy to deliver on that promise.”

To celebrate the opening of Modern Twist, Cheekwood will host a Family Day on Saturday, March 22 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm with engaging Japanese-themed activities for all ages. Master bamboo artist Ueno Masao will create a giant sculpture in the courtyard while visitors make origami crafts, watch traditional tea ceremonies, tour Cheekwood’s Japanese Garden and more.

Modern Twist: Family Day Schedule:
10am - 4pm
Artist Demonstration: Bamboo Weaving with Ueno Masao

10am - 2pm Drop-in origami making with the Nashville Origami Club

10am - 2pm Cultural crafts in the Frist Learning Center Studios

10am - 2pm Ikebana Flower Arranging Demonstration

11am, 12pm, 1pm Japanese Tea Ceremony Viewing

1:30pm Japanese Garden guided tour

Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art is organized by the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture and International Arts and Artists. The exhibition is supported by Barbara and Jack Bovender and educational programs are supported by Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund. The exhibition will be on display at Cheekwood until May 25, 2014.

About Cheekwood
Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheek estate. Our mission is to preserve Cheekwood as an historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit. Cheekwood is located at 1200 Forrest Park Drive in Nashville, 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday nights May – October, open until 10 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, seniors $12 and children 3-17 are $7. Parking is $3 per car. For further information call 615-356-8000 or visit

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