Released June 16, 2007
Salem, Mass.- Based in an 800-year-old tradition of paper folding, modern origami has grown into a highly sophisticated, international art form. Origami Now! assembles over 60 works by 24 of the world's foremost contemporary origami artists - including Eric Joisel, Satoshi Kamiya, Michael LaFosse, Robert Lang and Jeannine Mosely. From depictions of animals and nature to portraits and abstract forms, the exhibition demonstrates the diversity of technique and interpretation possible in contemporary origami. Presented in the museum's Art & Nature Center, Origami Now! features interactive stations where visitors of all ages can make origami, play with moveable, "action" origami, and discover the fascinating processes used to make these intricate creations. The exhibition is curated by Art & Nature Center Director, Jane Winchell, with noted origami artist Michael LaFosse serving as exhibition advisor. Origami Now! opens June 16, 2007, and runs through June 8, 2008.
"Origami is in the most exciting phase of growth and change in its history. The exhibition offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience this highly creative and innovative art form," says Winchell.
A colorful installation of origami butterflies greets visitors at the museum entrance and leads them through the Atrium to the exhibition gallery. Ranging in size from 12 inches to 12 feet, the butterflies were created for the exhibition by origami master Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander. The show includes works from the 1960s to the present, though most were designed within the past 10 years, reflecting the recent advancements made by contemporary origami artists. Origami Now! explores the techniques developed by this evolving art form and highlights origami's influence on other disciplines, including design, technology, and mathematics.
Traditionally crafted from a single sheet of paper, origami gains dimension and texture from the folding process and paper quality. Innovations such as wet-folding, tension folding, and computer aided design enable today's artists to achieve new levels of realism and complexity in folded paper. Using wet- and dry-folding methods on tissue paper, artist Brian Chan brought to life his origami katydid (a type of grasshopper), contrasting broad transparent wings against delicate opaque legs and antennae. Origami requires extensive study of the subject beforehand in order to achieve a life-like model.
The Organic Abstract series by Paul Jackson reflects the artist's observation that folding and unfolding occur throughout nature as part of growth and maturation. Departing from traditional origami methods, Jackson applies paint and other finishes to paper prior to folding, allowing each piece in the series to develop as a slight improvisation from the previous one. This represents just one of the many ways in which individual artists are re-defining this ancient art form and its traditional connection with nature.
A 13-minute film featuring five of the artists in the exhibition offers fresh insight into the creative world of origami from some of today's most influential masters. Visitors will be invited to engage in a variety of interactive opportunities, including a revolving public installation of work displayed in the Media Studio.
Origami Now! is sponsored by Comcast. Additional support is provided by the Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations (ECHO), administered through the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education.
Richard Alexander - Haverhill, MA
Nancy Bjorge - Lawrence, KS
David Brill - Poynton, England
Brian Chan - Cambridge, MA
Joel Cooper - Lawrence, KS
Giang Dinh - Burke, VA
Vincent Floderer - Saint-Aulaire, France
Nathan Geller - Philadelphia, PA
Gay Merrill Gross - New York, NY
Thomas Hull - Andover, MA
Paul Jackson - Ramat-Gan, Israel
Eric Joisel - Sannois, France
Satoshi Kamiya - Tokyo, Japan
Miyuki Kawamura - Saga, Japan
Jason Ku - Boston, MA
Michael LaFosse - Haverhill, MA
Anne LaVin - Gilford, NH
Robert Lang - Alamo, CA
Jeannine Mosely - Belmont, MA
Chris Palmer - Chicago, IL
Jeremy Shafer - Berkeley, CA
Stephen Weiss - Miami Beach, FL
Wensdy Whitehead - Lincoln, MA
Joseph Wu - Vancouver, BC
Kenneth Baclawski - Waltham, MA
Corey Comenitz - Newton, MA