Washi Art and Design, an international paper art exhibition, is the first group exhibition I curated and organized. The exhibition runs from August 26th to September 21, 2017 in the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center in Bloomington, Indiana. The participating artists are Yuri Kawai (Japan), Sachiko Kinoshita (Japan), Amanda Ross (U.S.), Rowland Ricketts (U.S.), Koji Shibazaki (Japan), Jenny Stopher (U.S.), Mikao Suzuki (Japan), Ruigan Zhou (China), and myself.
The Exhibition is focused on the theme of Washi and other paper art. Washi paper is made from the long inner fibers of three plants: kozo (mulberry tree), mitsumata and gampi. Due to these raw materials and the traditional craft techniques, Washi papermaking has no negative environmental impact. The paper is very strong and can last as long as a few hundred years. In Japan, Washi has played a major role in the life style and culture of the Japanese people. In addition to its more common uses in stationary and in the fine arts, Washi is used in many different cultural activities such as in religious and ceremonial events. Its fabric like quality makes it suitable for applications in fashion, interior lighting and interior furnishing. Though there is long history of Washi papermaking in Japan, today only a few Washi papermakers are continuing their papermaking traditions and Professor Koji Shibazaki’s Washi research lab at Aichi University of Arts is one of them.
A Surihaku (gold foil painting) workshop was conducted by artist Mikako Suzuki at the Waldron Arts Center. For more information about the workshop, please visit here.
The exhibition and workshop are supported in part by a workshop grant from Indiana University’s College Arts & Humanities Institute.