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Craft

This Elaborately Armored Samurai Was Folded From A Single Sheet of Paper

January 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Juho Könkkölä, shared with permission

Juho Könkkölä spent upwards of 50 hours scoring and folding just one sheet of Wenzhou rice paper to create this painstakingly detailed samurai complete with plated armor, traditional helmet, and sword. Beginning with a 95 x 95-centimeter page, the 23-year-old Finnish artist used a combination of wet and dry origami techniques to shape the 28-centimeter-tall warrior of his own design. “There are several hundreds of steps to fold it from the square and there are probably thousands of individual folds,” he said in a statement, noting that crafting the geometric patterns for the armor was the most difficult. “The asymmetry in the design allowed me to include (a) sword on only one arm while being able to make the character look symmetric.”

Könkkölä documented his folding process in the video below, and check out his Instagram for a wide-ranging collection of origami figures. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 

 



Art

Paper Torsos Covered with Ancient Chinese Paintings by Peng Wei Reimagine Femininity

December 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Peng Wei, courtesy of Tina Keng Gallery, shared with permission

Through delicately layered flax and cotton paper, Peng Wei (previously) reconceptualizes common notions of femininity. The Chinese artist casts figurative sculptures depicting only the human torso, which are shapely in front and abstractly gathered in back. Inky tableaus of spectral figures, scenes of war, and domestic tasks all evoking ancient Chinese narratives—like Paragons of Feminine Virtue by Ming-dynasty thinker Lv Kun and Qing-dynasty novelist Pu Songling’s Strange Tales from the Chinese Studio—envelop the exterior. Combined with evocative poses, Peng’s freehand paintings subvert traditional understandings of women’s roles by removing their original context and displaying them anew.

Many of the delicately sculpted works shown here are part of Feminine Space, a collection that “privileges the female vantage point,” a statement says. Peng’s “stance is less an insouciant look from afar than an earnest gaze that pierces through the ancient works of Chinese literature.” If you’re in Taiwan, Feminine Space is on view through January 30, 2021, at Tina Keng Gallery. Otherwise, explore more of Peng’s work on Artsy.

 

 

 



Art

Daily Newspapers Are Meticulously Cut into Lace Collages by Artist Myriam Dion

November 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Floristic procession – California Blazes, The Wall Street Journal, Saturday / Sunday, August 22-23,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, 84 centimeters diameter. All images © Myriam Dion, shared with permission

For Myriam Dion, a newspaper’s narrative qualities go beyond the text on the page. The Montreal-based artist accentuates the daily briefs and profiles in publications like The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Le Monde by overlaying broadsheets with painstakingly cut newsprint. Brilliantly hued flowers veil an issue focused on the wildfires raging across California, while masked subjects appear in the foreground of a piece about the post-COVID economy. Each tableau centers on one narrative, supporting the journalism with intricate motifs and trimmed photographs spread across the unfolded issue.

Masking the text-based print with color and woven sections has been a recent addition to Dion’s practice. “This operation often doubles or triples the working time, but it helps solidify the works (which are already quite fragile) and gives more depth and possibilities to the patterns that I choose and invent,” she writes, noting that weaving thin strips through whole editions visually aligns her works more closely with fiber arts.

More often utilizing vintage copies of North American newspapers than she had previously, the artist has identified a through-line in many of the editions. “For a long time, and even today, the print media has been a forum articulated by and for the male sex, where women have occupied a limited place, and interestingly enough, the newspaper articles I have accumulated document the perception of women in the mass media over the last century,” she says.

Dion will be an artist in residence at the NARS Foundation in Brooklyn in 2021, where she plans to create 8-10 new pieces that merge these historic narratives with traditionally feminine art forms, like lacework and embroidery. The idea is subversive and pays “homage to the female public figures represented in these old newspapers, but more particularly to ordinary women to whom the recognition of any artistic contribution, both from a technical and conceptual point of view, has long been denied by the politics of art.”

View more of Dion’s elaborately collaged projects on her site and Instagram.

 

“Red Square, Moscow – Containment compliance is controlled thanks to an ‘intelligent surveillance system,’ March 31, 2020, Le Devoir,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, Japanese paper weaving, 60.5 x 59 centimeters

Detail of “Madrid, martyr capital of a grieving Spain, Le Monde, Saturday, April 4, 2020,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, 55.5 x 37.5 centimeters

Detail of “On a marche sur la lune, La Presse, Monday, July 21, 1969,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, Japanese paper weaving, gold and copper leaf, 91 x 63 centimeters

“Coronavirus – China’s risky plan to revive the economy, Financial Times, 11 March 2020,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, Japanese paper weaving, 30.5 x 46 centimeters

Detail of “Coronavirus – China’s risky plan to revive the economy, Financial Times, 11 March 2020,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, Japanese paper weaving, 30.5 x 46 centimeters

“On a marche sur la lune, La Presse, Monday, July 21, 1969,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, Japanese paper weaving, gold and copper leaf, 91 x 63 centimeters

Detail of “Floristic procession – California Blazes, The Wall Street Journal, Saturday / Sunday, August 22-23,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, 84 centimeters diameter

“Madrid, martyr capital of a grieving Spain, Le Monde, Saturday, April 4, 2020,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, 55.5 x 37.5 centimeters

Detail of “Madrid, martyr capital of a grieving Spain, Le Monde, Saturday, April 4, 2020,” collage of newspapers and Japanese papers cut with X-Acto knife, 55.5 x 37.5 centimeters

 

 



Animation Music

A Series of Animated Paper Video Games Evokes Digital Nostalgia

November 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

Perhaps no video game has evidenced the necessity of escapism in modern life more than Animal Crossing at the beginning of the pandemic. Players worldwide dove into the fictional universe to avoid the anxiety of daily life, a coping mechanism that a new animation by Austin-based creator Eric Power beautifully encapsulates. Set to a new song by Mixtape for the Milky Way, the short history is an ode to the charming simulation and a slew of its predecessors and contemporaries. The nostalgic video chronicles the evolution of video games—from Pacman and Asteroid to Cuphead, Limbo, and GRIS’s surreal watercolor landscapes—through a series of vintage television sets and classic simulations recreated entirely from paper.

For more of Power’s animated works, visit Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Shaped Using Precisely Cut Maps, Nikki Rosato's Busts and Portraits Connect Place, Memory, and Identity

November 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Nikki Rosato, shared with permission

Through mesh busts and delicate portraits, Nikki Rosato visualizes the connections between place and identity. The Washington, D.C.-based artist carves out the multi-colored highways and back roads from common maps, leaving the distances and spatial markings intact. She then shapes the cut paper into figurative sculptures and 2D artworks that vary in density and color depending on the original city or region.

Rosat utilizes the precise markings of cartography to highlight the complex, inner-workings of memory and belonging. “As we move through life, the places we inhabit and the people that we meet alter and shape us into the person that we are in the present day. I am interested in the idea that a place I visited as a child has affected the outcome of the person that I am today,” she says.

In a note to Colossal, the artist shares that she shifted her practice after her grandmother died in 2018. “I’ve taken the last few years to do a lot of research into my strong matriarchal lineage (my great grandmother literally walked hundreds of miles on foot with a 2-year-old to escape Lithuania in the early 1900s and then built our family in a small town in Pennsylvania),” she says, adding that her current projects consider the trajectory of these two figures’ lives.

Some of Rosato’s intricate works are available from Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, and you can follow her pieces on Artsy.

 

 

 



Art

Textural Sculptures by Artist Jessica Drenk Use Junk Mail, Book Pages, and Q-Tips to Explore Materiality

October 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Dendrite” (2019), Q-tips and plaster. All images © Jessica Drenk, courtesy of Galleri Urbane, shared with permission

Montana-born artist Jessica Drenk (previously) employs simple materials, like shopping flyers and standard No. 2 pencils, to create organic sculptures that are chaotic and arresting explorations of the substances themselves. Bundled Q-tips spread across a site-specific installation like the roots of a tree, a carved section of plywood reveals concentric patterns, and strips of junk mail are plastered together in long waves.

While Drenk’s latest series, titled Transmutations, is diverse and ranges from wall pieces to cavernous sculptures, each artwork explores materiality and how disparate shapes and textures combine to create forms that are new both physically and conceptually. The artist explains in a statement:

In treating everyday objects as raw material to sculpt, I practice a form of conceptual alchemy: through physically manipulating these objects their meanings become transmuted. Each piece is a direct response to material—a subversion of the meanings associated with it, and a reference to the life cycle of objects through time.

If you’re in Dallas, Transmutations is on view at Galleri Urbane through October 31. Otherwise, follow Drenk’s textural works on Artsy, and watch an interview with the artist at her studio below.

 

“Contour 3” (2020), carved plywood, 47 x 38 x 3 inches

“Implement 68” (2020), pencils, 22 x 18 x 17 inches

“Cerebral Mapping” (2020), books and wax, 132 x 80 inches

“Compression 3” (2020), books, wax on wood panel, and wood frame, 44 x 38 x 2 inches

“Dendrite” (2019), Q-tips and plaster

Top: “Aggregate 3” (2020), junk mail, 28 x 130 x 2.25 inches. Bottom: “Aggregate 2” (2020), junk mail and plaster, 20 x 78 x 2.5 inches

Left: “Circulation 18” (2020), books and wax, 31 x 29 x 1.5 inches. Right: “Circulation 19” (2020), junk mail and cardboard, 36 x 36 x 1.5 inches

 

 

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