Washi Paper
Cultural Heritage and Artistic Creativity

Washi, known as Japanese handmade paper, is “thin, strong, and beautiful” and 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 relationality 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.
We introduce the history of traditional handmade washi, the aesthetic beauty of kirikane through the subtle light reflected from haku (gold or silver foil), origami & origata, modern washi sculpture, and sho by a calligrapher whose brush strokes are drawn on handmade washi.
Workshops are held during the exhibition. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
1. 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.
2. Mikako Suzuki
Kirikane: Artworks of hand-cut gold leaf with intricate decorative patterns.
3. Mohri Suzuki
Sho: Calligraphy on handmade washi paper.
4. Hiromi Watabe
Origami: The Japanese tradition of paper folding.
5. Kasui Arima
Origata: Another form of origami.Origata is the art of wrapping gifts in paper, often used as decoration for special ceremonies.
6. Kiyoharu Uchiumi
Washi sculpture: Washi dolls costumed in clothing of Heian period (794–1185).
The following workshops by the artists are held during the exhibition.
1. Surihaku Workshop by Prof. Koji Shibazaki and Ms. Mikako Suzuki Creating 3 Washi postcards with Surihaku, (washi paper to which gold leaf or silver leaf has been applied)
Time: 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm on Saturday, January 28
Fee: $ 10 (Nippon Club members), $15 (Guests) (Material Fee $ 20)
2. Shodo Workshop by Mr. Mohri Suzuki
Shodo is a type of traditional Japanese art style that uses brushes and ink to write “Kanji”, or other Chinese characters.
In this workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to create your own unique Japanese work of art by writing a character you like in Kanji
on washi paper.
Time: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm on Saturday, February 4
Fee: $ 10 (Nippon Club members), $ 15 (Guests)
For registration or inquiry, please contact Ms. Honda at yhonda@nipponclub.org
1. IrisesⅤ by Koji Shibazaki
2. Sankaibishi lampⅠ(diamond pattern)by Koji Shibazaki

Organized by The Nippon Club
Sponsored by JCC Fund (Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of New York, Inc.)
Supported by
Consulate General of Japan in New York
The Japan Foundation, New York
Aichi University of the Arts
Toyota City
Paper Museum
In cooperation with
Prof. Koji Shibazaki, Department of Design and Craft, Aichi University of the Arts
International Origami Center
WA art Gallery
Cut gold leaf artist, Mikako Suzuki 
Calligrapher, Mohri Suzuki
Traditional origami artist, Hiromi Watabe
Traditional origata artist, Kasui Arima
Washi Sculpture artist, Kiyoharu Uchiumi
On-hyougu, Den
Art Coordinator
Shoko Hayashi

Period January 26 (Thu) – February 24 (Fri), 2017
Hours 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (Monday - Friday) 
10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Saturday)
Closed Sundays
Location The Nippon Gallery at The Nippon Club
145 West 57th street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10019
Admission Free
Detail Tel (212) 581-2223 E-mail: info@nipponclub.org URL: www.nipponclub.org


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