Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami

Erik DeMaine and Martin DeMaine, Kentucky Series: Together, 2012. Mi-Teintes watercolor paper. Photo courtesy of the artists
Sun, 03/05/2017 - Sun, 05/28/2017
Fowler Gallery
Above the Fold is the first traveling exhibition to bring origami installations from around the world to North American audiences. Paper is transformed into breathtaking sculpture, large-scale installations, and conceptual works that express contemporary aesthetic ideas.
 
Origami—the Japanese tradition of folding paper into recognizable objects— dates back at least a thousand years, with possible roots in Shinto purification rituals and gift exchanges among the nobility. By the eighteenth century the practice had come into popular use, and in the mid-twentieth century it was further modernized and popularized by Akira Yoshizawa, who is considered the first true origami artist. Yoshizawa created enchanting new designs and introduced a system of notation for origami folds that have become the international standard. Today, origami is so popular that it is practiced all around the world.
 
Above the Fold presents the work of nine renowned artists working in six different countries and ranging in age from twenty-nine to seventy-one. These artists—Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine (Canada/USA), Vincent Floderer (France), Miri Golan (Israel), Paul Jackson (UK/Israel), Robert J. Lang (USA), Yuko Nishimura (Japan), Richard Sweeney (UK), and Jiangmei Wu (China/USA)—have been pushing the boundaries of origami to elevate what was once considered a children’s craft into a sophisticated global art form. Some have even employed mathematical theorems to solve folding problems and advance the capabilities of the medium. Now, origami not only expresses the beauty and spirit of natural forms such as birds and animals, but it also touches on religious, social, and political ideas—moving the viewer with both the intricacy of its craft and the power of the artist’s message.
 

Above the Fold is supported through the generosity of the Harry C. Trexler Trust, the Julius and Katheryn Hommer Foundation, the Century Fund, the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, the Amaranth Foundation, the County of Lehigh, Joan M. Moran, the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment, the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation, the Rider-Pool Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Friends of the Museum.
 

Above the Fold is curated by Meher McArthur and tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.   

 

Richard Sweeney, Air, 2014, folded paper, wood, metal fixings, cotton cord. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Hockenberry.

 


Robert Lang, Pentasia, 2014, 500 squares of paper. Photo courtesy of the artist.

 


Jiangmei Wu, Ruga Swan, 2014. Safecorr grey acid-free corrugated board, plastic rivets, 2014.
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Hockenberry.   
   

Yuko Nishimura, Shine, 2008. Paper. Photo courtesy of the artist.