Longmont Museum Opens Japanese Paper Art Exhibit: “Washi Transformed”

Kakuko Ishii Musubu R 2012 Washi paper Mizuhiki and pigment. Image courtesy of the artist ©Kakuko Ishii scaled.
Kakuko Ishii, Musubu W1, 2007, Washi paper(Mizuhiki), Image courtesy of the artist, © Kakuko Ishii

Featuring More Than 30 Sculptures, Installations, and Other Works Created by Contemporary Japanese Artists

For more than one thousand years, Japan has produced some of the world’s finest paper. Japanese papermakers still use the skills passed down through generations to create handmade paper, known as “washi” (和紙). It is used in painting, calligraphy, origami, and other traditional art forms.

Japanese contemporary artists are now using washi as the basis for their artwork. They take this supple yet sturdy natural fiber and layer, weave, dye, twist, fold, and cut it to create highly textured hanging works.

Opening, Saturday, January 29, the newest exhibit at the Longmont Museum brings this ancient yet innovative art form to Longmont. “Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper” showcases more than 30 expressive sculptures, dramatic installations, and two-dimensional works.

“Washi Transformed” spotlights the works of nine contemporary Japanese artists: Hina Aoyama, Eriko Horiki, Kyoko Ibe, Yoshio Ikezaki, Kakuko Ishii, Yuko Kimura, Yuko Nishimura, Takaaki Tanaka, and Ayomi Yoshida. All these artists use washi to create works that are unusual in size, unexpected in texture and do not fit typical expectations of paper art.

Japanese art and culture set the stage for the Longmont Museum’s programming this season. Explore upcoming films, concerts, classes, and talks inspired by “Washi Transformed” at longmontmusuem.org.

The exhibition runs from January 29 through May 15, 2022. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for students, seniors, and veterans. Longmont Museum members and children age 3 and under are free. Gallery admission for visitors with an EBT or SNAP card is only $0.25, and the second Saturday of each month is free.

The opening reception scheduled for Friday, January 28 has been postponed for the community’s safety due to COVID-19. Information about a rescheduled event will be available at longmontmusuem.org or by signing up for the Museum’s e-newsletter.

The Longmont Museum is a center for culture in Northern Colorado where people of all ages explore the history, experience art, and discover new ideas through dynamic programs, exhibitions, and events. Regional history, internationally known artists, and hands-on learning are all part of the mix of exhibitions at the Longmont Museum. Permanent exhibits document the 14,000 years of human history in Longmont and the people who helped to create this community. Special exhibits in the Museum’s main gallery, Portal Gallery, and Swan Atrium change several times a year. Learn more at longmontmuseum.org or visit us at 400 Quail Road, Longmont CO 80501.

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