2014 / Exhibition “The Curious Art of Origami” at the Shumei Hall Gallery, Pasadena, Sept 19 thru Nov. 19

Shimei Origami Giang Dinh Cat

Giang Dinh “Cat”

Pasadena – The exhibition “The Curious Art of Origami” will feature art works by three of the most renowned origami artists in the country and will highlight the diversity of contemporary origami art.

The exhibition will be held at the Shumei Hall Gallery in Pasadena (2430 E. Colorado Blvd. Tel: 626 584 8841) from September 19 through November 19 as part of the Pasadena-wide A X S Curiosity Festival (http://axsfestival.org/2014/).

Origami is the Japanese word for “folded paper.” For over 1,000 years, the Japanese have been folding paper, first to create decorative gift wrappers and Shinto ceremonial objects, and later as a playful and artistic pastime.

In the 20th century, the art form spread far beyond the shores of Japan, and is now a worldwide phenomenon, appealing both to school children as a way to make toys and decorations and to adults as an artistic and intellectual hobby.

In the last few decades, origami has evolved into a sophisticated art form. Mathematics has contributed significantly to this evolution.

Using mathematical calculations to map out the folds necessary to form particular elements of an animal, bird or insect, origami artists from all over the world have been designing increasingly complex forms, often out of a single square of paper with no cuts or glue.

Some artists, however, have pushed the artistic boundaries of origami by experimenting with different types of paper and new folding techniques to create works that barely resemble traditional origami – elaborately patterned geometric forms called tessellations and simple figural or abstract forms created with very few folds.

The three artists represented in this exhibition approach origami from very different backgrounds.

Robert Lang is a laser physicist, best known for his super complex figures of animals, birds and bugs, but also an important figure in the realm of applied origami, working with space laboratories, airbag designers and medical researchers to develop better designs for compressing various materials using origami folding principles.

Linda Mihara is highly creative Japanese American origami artist who specializes in the traditional technique of “connecting cranes” but also applies her skills to spectacular contemporary forms, including fashion and animated origami films.

Giang Dinh is a Vietnamese American architect, who uses only a few gentle folds in thick watercolor paper to create abstracted, but deeply spiritual folded paper figures. Though he is trained in traditional origami folding, his work represents a clear departure from typical origami figures.

Together these three artists are pushing the boundaries of this art form to create exquisite works that spark our curiosity.

A reception for this exhibition will be held on Saturday, September 20, from 1 pm to 4 pm.

This exhibition is sponsored by Setsuko Oka, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, Toshiko & Frank Mosher and Cheryl Revkin.

The showcases for displaying the origami art works were lent to this exhibition by the Art Center College of Design.