Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami

Exhibit takes look at advances of origami

“Recycling Destructors VIII” by Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine -- Photo courtesy Schaefer International Gallery

A groundbreaking exhibition that reveals the extraordinary power and potential of contemporary origami, “Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami,” opens Sept. 2 at the Schaefer International Gallery at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.

The exhibit is curated by Meher McArthur and has been organized for tour by International Arts & Artists, Washington D.C.

“Above the Fold” presents the work of nine international artists who demonstrate the artistic achievements being made in the world of contemporary origami.

Once considered a children’s craft, origami has become a sophisticated, often breathtaking global art form. Literally meaning “paper folding,” origami has evolved from a Japanese craft into a highly expressive, global art form, which intersects and impacts the realms of art and science.

Artists around the world are folding paper into increasingly elaborate and provocative sculptural works. Scientists and mathematicians use origami to unlock the mysteries of the universe.

“Shine” by Yukio Nishimura -- Photo courtesy Schaefer International Gallery

Paul Jackson, origami artist, explains that like DNA, which is folded, “You and I are born of folding.” We are, in essence, works of origami.

Paper is transformed into dramatic sculpture, large scale installations and conceptual works, which express contemporary social, political, aesthetic and cultural dialogues.

“Above the Fold” is the first traveling exhibition that brings a group of origami installations and conceptual sculptures from around the world to North American audiences.

Artists participating in this exhibit include:

• Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine (Canada/USA) — a father/son art/science team who use mathematical calculations to create unconventional works that challenge the direction of paper folding.

“Ruga Swan” by Jiangmei Wu. -- Photo courtesy Schaefer International Gallery

• Vincent Floderer (France) — specializes in a technique that includes dampening and stretching origami paper to create organic and multi-layered forms.

• Miri Golan (Israel) — a peace activist, educator and origami artist who hopes to use her installations as catalysts to unite people of different religions and cultural backgrounds.

• Yuko Nishimura (Japan) — a background in architecture and design contributes several framed, wall-hung tessellations in which light and shadow interplay on the folded surface of paper to dramatic effect.

• Dr. Robert J. Lang (USA) — a former NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory laser physicist creates large, modular mathematical pieces exploring the concept of infinity.

• Paul Jackson (UK/Israel) — takes a highly philosophical approach to the process of folding and unfolding, and specializes in abstract origami sculptures.

• Richard Sweeney (UK) — a multi-media artist who combines handcrafted, 3D models with computer-aided design and computer numerical control techniques in the creation of his works.

• Jiangmei Wu (China/USA) — an assistant professor in design at Indiana University interested in how folding can be expressed mathematically, physically and aesthetically; how it can be done with different materials and techniques; and how these aspects work together.

Two related workshops with Lang are planned for Saturday and cost $60 each.

“Introduction to Modular Origami Polyhedra” from 9 a.m. to noon will introduce participants to modular origami.

“Bringing Origami to Life: Artistic Folding Techniques” from 1 to 4 p.m. will explore wet-folding techniques that add life and natural form to origami.

Also planned is an Observe & Play Family Day from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 6. This is a free event.

“Above the Fold” may be visited through Nov. 25. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. For more information, call 243-4288 or visit www.mauiarts.org/exhibits.

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