Origami—the Japanese art of paper folding—has become so popular that it is now practiced all around the world. In the hands of some extraordinary artists, this art form has recently been evolving in remarkable new directions, including sculpture, large-scale installations, and conceptual works that express contemporary social, political, and aesthetic ideas.
The exhibition Above the Fold presents the work of nine renowned artists from four different continents, working in six different countries. These artists—Yuko Nishimura (Japan), Erik DeMaine and Martin DeMaine (Canada/USA), Vincent Floderer (France), Miri Golan (Israel), Paul Jackson (UK/Israel), Robert J. Lang (USA), Richard Sweeney (UK), and Jiangmei Wu (China/USA)—have been pushing the boundaries of origami to elevate what was once considered a children’s craft into a sophisticated global art form.
As their works demonstrate, origami has become a multifaceted method of artistic expression. It is increasing in size, with larger single sheets or multiple modules being formed into large-scale sculptures that blend geometry and grace. It is creased and crumpled to create fantastic new worlds inhabited by life-like organisms, and is folded along curved lines to twist and swirl in unexpected directions, sometimes inside other materials. Increasingly, it also expresses not only the beauty and spirit of natural forms, such as birds and animals, but also religious, social, and political ideas; now we are not only awed by the intricacy of the folding itself, but stirred by the power of the folder’s message.