Washi Paper – Cultural Heritage and Artistic Creativity
Thursday, January 26 through Friday, February 24
The Nippon Club – 145 W. 57th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
Japanese handmade paper, known as washi, is a symbol of Japanese craftsmanship. A work of art in itself, this traditional paper has found a place not only in the restoration of cultural properties by virtue of its unique durability, strength, and eco-friendliness, but also as a popular material for paintings, fine arts, lighting fixtures, and interior design.
With its wide method of production and use of a variety of raw materials, there is a possibility that new and creative applications of handmade washi will give rise to a resurgence of this traditional craft. Involving a labor-intensive process and using a large range of resources, traditional washi has gained the admiration of people worldwide.
In this exhibition, discover the beauty and functionality of washi firsthand through a variety of classic Japanese art forms reinterpreted by contemporary artists and designed to introduce visitors to the historical and creative value of washi.
In order to create darkness, all the windows of the gallery are covered by washi tapestry. In this way, a subtle and profound atmosphere is created within the exhibition space, representing the relationship of the lanterns, karakami (traditional craft for interior decoration), and calligraphy on the kekejiku (hanging scroll) of the traditional Japanese house. Amidst the quiet play of light and shadow created inside the gallery, visitors are transported back to an era where the only source of light in the home emanated from a single washi lantern.
The Nippon Club will introduce the history of traditional handmade washi, the aesthetic beauty of kirikane through the subtle light reflected from haku (gold or silver foil), origami and origata, modern washi sculpture, and sho by a calligrapher whose brush strokes are drawn on handmade washi.
- Koji Shibazaki: Handmade Washi Lanterns
Artworks using the technique of visual illusion with layered washi and washi art tapestry. He is the director of the exhibition.
- Mikako Suzuki: Kirikane
Artworks of hand-cut gold leaf with intricate decorative patterns.
- Mohri Suzuki:
Calligraphy on handmade washi paper.
- Hiromi Watabe:
The Japanese tradition of paper folding.
- Kasui Arima:
Another form of origami, origata is the art of wrapping gifts in paper, often used as decoration for special ceremonies.
- Kiyoharu Uchiumi:
Washi dolls costumed in clothing of Heian period (794–1185).
There will be two workshops by featured artists during the exhibition.
Surihaku Workshop by Prof. Koji Shibazaki and Ms. Mikako Suzuki
Creating three Washi postcards with Surihaku, (washi paper to which gold leaf or silver leaf has been applied)
Saturday, January 28 from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Fee: $10 Nippon Club members/$15 guests (Material Fee: $20)
Shodo Workshop by Mr. Mohri Suzuki
Shodo is a type of traditional Japanese art that uses brushes and ink to write Kanji, or Chinese characters. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to create their own unique Japanese work of art by writing a character in Kanji on washi paper.
Saturday, February 4 from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Fee: $10 Nippon Club members/$15 guests)
For registration or inquiry, please contact Ms. Honda at firstname.lastname@example.org.