Sunday, 5 July 2015

International Exhibition of Contemporary Paper Art

I was really very excited to read about the International Exhibition of Contemporary Paper Art at the Old Jaffa Museum. I like that particular museum a lot, having visited several times previously, most recently last summer for the Dolls Art exhibition. The museum is located in the "Ancient Saraya", an old governmental Ottoman house, and is relatively small but quite lovely! Of course I was going to visit again for the paper exhibition.
The Contemporary Paper Art exhibition is advertised as the first of its kind in Israel. The exhibition brings together 30 world-renowned paper masters, displaying "crumpled" works by the French artist Vincent Floderer, as well as creations by the artist and mathematician Martin L. Demaine and his son, Professor Erik Demaine. In addition, Dr. Robert Lang, one of the developers of car airbags, displays works of art created by hundreds of folds of paper. I was particularly enamoured with his Poison Dart Frog, below. The exhibition, curated by artist Paul Jackson, also hosts the German artist Heinz Strobl and his works made from folded strips of paper hundreds of metres long, as well as other leading and respected artists from Japan, Europe, the USA and Israel.
The exhibition showcases the unlimited possibilities of paper art in the most wonderful way. "Paper is all around us", the curator's introduction read, "but we don't look at it. We touch it, but we don't feel it. It is our ever-present servant, essential but invisible, humble but dignified... It is all-but excluded from the list of respected artists' materials, such as stone clay, metal and wood." But that's how it used to be. A growing number of artists have adopted paper as their primary material and have begun to create vibrant folded, cut and crumpled work that is finding an enthusiastic public. Myself amongst them.
There were so many pieces that I fell in love with at the exhibition. Melina Hermsen's "Tessellations" just blew me away. Melina, from Germany, is one of an exciting new generation of tessellation artists who take the traditional pattern-making techniques and add a creative flair. My absolute favourite piece was the lion cub, below, which I would more than happily hang on my wall at home.
Anne Rudanovski's huge pleated disk created from one sheet of paper, above, was initially part of a larger installation of many disks. This piece will disassemble and fold into a small box, rather like the closing of an umbrella.
The modular origami lamps of Tomoko Fuse from Japan, below, are created from one sheet of folded, uncut paper. She is considered by many as a renowned master in origami.
There were papercuts too. Noa Yekutieli's "Behind the Human" hand cut papercut is based on an ongoing series of pieces titled "Summer 2014" which are based on ruins from "Operation Protective Edge" and deal with the physical and human emotional destruction that are a result of the ongoing conflict in Israel. One side of the piece shows the destruction and the shared reality of the individuals that are sometimes forgotten behind this catastrophe. The second side reveals a subjective personal moment. The cut out paper from the side depicting the destruction pile up as ruins and symbolises how time will blind the human ability to remember. It does not tell a story of a person, a party, a side, or a house, but is a metaphor of a universal distress resulting from war and conflict.
Each visitor to the exhibition receives a small sheet of origami paper with the entrance ticket. A large screen within the exhibition area demonstrates the art of origami with detailed instructions, allowing visitors to have a go at the art form. My son made a delightful swan, with a little help from Mum.
The exhibition's curator Paul Jackson has been a professional artist since 1982. His paper folding sculptures are displayed in museums and galleries around the world. He has published over thirty books on paper art, and created many commercial projects. Nowadays he teaches at the Shenkar School of Engineering and Design, one of the leading colleges in Israel.


Miss Val's Creations said...

Wow! Cool museum. We don't have any paper museums around us. I love the huge wall sculptures. The frog is quite fun! This definitely has me looking at paper a little differently.

Ann Martin said...

Such a wonderful exhibit, Lisa! You had the opportunity to see the work of so many greats in the world of paper and what a beautiful setting too. Thanks for sharing your visit.

Ruth Kenner said...

I just managed to get there myself. What a beautiful exhibit. What an inspiration.