Eurus, part of Anemoi Folded Light Art, has won the Juror’s Award at Craft Forms 2015, an international juried exhibition of Contemporary Craft at Wayne Art Center near Philadelphia. This year the juror is Ronald T. Labaco, Marcia Docter Curator, Museum of Arts and Design, NYC. Only 6 pieces, out of 775 pieces of artwork submissions by 429 artists who participated around the world, won the Juror’s Award. I was very fortunate to chat with Mr. Labaco at the show and learn from him about some very interesting works at the exhibition.
In companion to Craft Forms 2015 exhibition, Wayne Art Center also presents a curated show titled Emergence: Craft + Technology. The show highlights the intertwining between advanced digital processes and the traditional analogy processes.
Both of the shows opens till January 30, 2016. Check it out if you are near Philadelphia. For more information, visitwww.craftforms.org.
A few weeks ago I traveled to Charleston, West Virginia for a new installation of Ruga Swan at Clay Center for the Arts and Science, a 240,000-square-foot facility dedicated to promoting performing arts, visual arts, and the sciences. The installation went extremely well and fast. The staffs of Clay Center were very experienced and professional. It took less than four hours to suspend Ruga Swan’s huge wing-like structure. Now Ruga Swan is siting at the center of a 20,000-square-foot exhibition space what is dedicated to eight other visionary origami artists including Erik Demain and Martin Demaine (both from MIT), Vicent Floderer (France), Paul Jackson (UK/Israel), Robert Lang, Yuko Nishimura (Japan), Richard Sweeney (UK) and Miri Golan (Israel).
I recently exhibited at the Toyota Civic Center at Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The exhibition site was changed from Toyota Municipal Museum of Art as the museum is currently closed for renovation.
As the featured artist of the International Cultural Art Festival, I exhibited along the sides of sixteen best regional and national artists in Aichi Prefecture. The participating artists included Tomomi Kano and Hisashi Kano from Obara Washi Paper Museum, Professor Koji Shibazaki from Aichi University of the Arts, well-known artists Satoru Kato, Ooishi Matsue, Jianxiong Zeng, Yasuo Itami. etc. I exhibited part of my latest collection of folded light art titled Anemoi Light Art, as well as some of my earlier works. Anemoi Light Art is realized by combining algorithm-based digital design and tactile process. The main material is a type of tear-free Japanese-made Shoji paper called Hi-tec Kozo, which has a three-layer structure, with eco-friendly polyester film as core and Kozo Washi on both sides. Kozo Washi is a type of renewable material that is made from the inner bark of Kozo, a type of mulberry tree originated in Japan.
My exhibition was sponsored by Toyota City, Toyota City Education Committee, Toyota City Culture Promotion Foundation and Toyota International Association. Toyota City Mayor Mr. Ota Toshihiko, the President of Toyota International Association Akiko Toyoda, Member of the House of Representatives Yagi Tetsuya, and hundreds of visitors attended the exhibition. Also, my exhibition was published in one of the four major newspapers in Japan the Chunichi Shimbun and local newspaper the Yahagi Shinpo.
Many thanks to dozens of volunteers who helped set up the exhibition. Special thanks to Satoru Kato, Lin Yang, Jianxiong Zeng and Akiko Toyoda who meticulously planned and organized the event. Also thanks to Yoshimasa Nakata, Yasuo Itami, Hisashi Kano, Tomomi Kano, Koji Shibazaki and his wife Sachiko Kinoshita, Professor Shibazaki’s student Suzuki Mikako. Without all of your help, the exhibition would have been impossible. Thank you very much for all of your beautiful work.
My trip to Japan was partially funded through a New Frontier Exploratory Travel fellowship from Indiana University. Besides the exhibition, my Japan trip also included visits to Washi paper museums in Obara and Mino, as well as Professor Shibazaki’s paper studio at Aichi Prefecture University of Fine Arts and Music, a state-funded public university in Japan.
My large scale folded art work, Ruga Swan, has been selected as part of a traveling national exhibition entitled Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami (http://www.artsandartists.org/exhibitions-abovethefold.php). This exhibition also includes works by eight other well-known international artists and best-known names in the world of paper folding or origami, including Erik Demain and Martin Demaine (both from MIT), Vicent Floderer (France), Paul Jackson (UK/Israel), Robert Lang, Yuko Nishimura (Japan), Richard Sweeney (UK) and Miri Golan (Israel). The exhibition is organized by a highly reputable international nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C. and is curated by Meher McArthur, the former curator of East Asian Art at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California.
The exhibition opened its first venue at the Springfield Museum in Springfield Massachusetts on January 20, 2015 (see the attached photos). The exhibition has been lauded as “a ground-breaking exhibition of sculptures and large-scale origami installations by nine visionary master folders from around the world” (http://www.springfieldmuseums.org/) and the initial response of the exhibitions has been very positive.
The exhibition opened its second venue at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens in Norfolk Virginia. Hermitage Museum and Gardens is a historic arts and crafts house and it provided an unique setting for Ruga Swan. Because of the scale of my work, the installation proved to be very challenging.
The exhibition will then travel to five other museums in the next three years, including the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences in Charleston West Virginia, the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center in Longmont Colorado, the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles California, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach Florida and the Allentown Art Museum in Allentown Pennsylvania.
Ruga Swan is a part of my creative research on a new type of semi-structure and flexible interior skin, and it is also a conceptual piece in which I’m trying to understand how folding and patterning can be expressed mathematically, physically, and aesthetically; how it can be done using novel fabrication and construction techniques, and how these aspects work together with the conceptual spaces in which they occur.
“Ruga” is a Latin word for making winkles, creases, and folds, and the word has been recently used by material scientists to describe the various physical qualities of these various folded states. Ruga Swan is inspired by the use of folding to create complex topological forms from flat thin sheet materials with simple and low cost tools. Folded forms have inherently rigid properties and at the same time are flexible. There are many examples of folding-inspired design in architecture; however, folded architectural structures rarely make use of one of the main characteristic of folding design – the kinetic ability to morph from a two dimensional surface to a three-dimensional surface. The Ruga Swan project seeks to construct a deployable three dimensional semi-rigid structure that comes from fabricating two dimensional materials, such as corrugated cardboard, and can be collapsed into, again, smaller compressed forms. Hundreds of cardboard pieces were laser-cut by Noblitt Fabricating in Columbus, Indiana. (Noblitt Fabricating has generously supported this project by allowing me to pay for the cost of the laser cutting through an exchange of my Folded Light Art sculptures. See some examples at www.foldedlightart.com.)
Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA
January 20, 2015 – April 24, 2015
Hermitage Museum & Gardens, Norfolk, VA
May 2, 2015 – July 26, 2015
Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences, Charleston, WV
September, 2015 – November 2015, Dates TBD
Longmont Museum & Cultural Center, Longmont, CO
February 12, 2016 – May 1, 2016
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
May 28, 2016 – August 21, 2016
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, FL
October 11, 2016 – January 29, 2017
Allentown Art Museum, PA
March 3, 2017 – May 26, 2017
Special thanks to Noblitt Fabricating, Curt Aton, Steve Dixon, Joseph Su, Renzi Huang, Daniel Green, Ron Day, Dexter Wu, Seiya Liu and Jianhuan Ruan.
In September of 2014, I received another formal invitation to participate in Asia Talents exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand. My trip to Bangkok was again fully funded by the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand, and Thailand Institute of Design and Innovation Promotion. Other sponsors of the exhibition were W Bangkok Hotel and six international design magazines including Wallpaper, Livingetc, Elle Decoration, Casaviva, Interni, and Form. Curated by Anon Pairot from Anon Pairot Studio, the group exhibition was centered on design ideas for tomorrow.
The exhibition took place at Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center from October 19th to October 23rd, 2014. As part of an international trade show, Asia Talent exhibition was visited by thousands of visitors. I exhibited about a dozen pieces of Folded Light Art.There were 29 other talented designers from the Asian-Pacific region including Alvin T, Benjametha, Cheng-Tsung Feng, DesignTree, Dinsor, Hinika, Ito Kish, Kimu Design Studio, PDM Brand, Project Khatulistiwa, Soo Jung Park, Sahil & Sarthak Design, StudioNorm, Tim Webber Design, Wigmore & Asquith, etc. My work was published in several design magazines in Thailand such as Elle Deco and Wallpaper*. For more information about Asia Talents: Ideas for Tomorrow, please visit http://asiatalents.info/201402/designers.html.
In August of 2014, I received a formal invitation to participate at Asia Talents: 10 Eco Designers in Bangkok, Thailand. The event was fully funded by the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand, and Thailand Institute of Design and Innovation Promotion. The exhibition was curated by one of the best designers based in Bangkok, Anon Pairot from Anon Pairot Studio. The opening of the exhibition was attended by the Prime Minister of Thailand and was broadcasted on national TV news in Thailand. As a result, my work and my design brand, Folded Light Art+Design, was promoted and published in the exhibition catalog, exhibition web site, and other media. I exhibited with some of the most talented young designers in Asia Pacific, including Tim Wigmore, Rebecca Asquith, Hans Tan, Jarrod Lim, Alvin Tjitrowirjo, Joshua Simandjuntak, inBetween, Sahil and Sarthak.
The group exhibition took place at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok from September 18th to September 21, 2014. It was visited by hundreds of visitors. It was my first time to Thailand and doing an international exhibition in such a short frame was very intense. I had a lot of help from the staff from Anon Pairot Studio. I exhibited my Booma Table Light collection as well as my Tyvek Folded Light Art collection. I was also invited to participate in a panel discussion on sustainable design that was monitored by professor Patrakit Pong Komolkiti from the Department of Industrial Design of Chulalongkorn University. For more information about Asia Talents: 10 Eco Designers, please visit http://asiatalents.info/201402/designers.html.