Paper, Present

08-zim_zouNormalization of digital media brought with it the assumption that print mediums—paper—would soon become obsolete. The popularity of Kindle tablets certainly suggested this, and offline news sources often went unread as there was always the more easily accessible online version.  But for some artists, paper has become more than useful. In place of costly art tools and extravagant design equipment, they have chosen the simplicity of paper to be their main material. The clean but sharp edges and the familiarity of the paper that was used to write a letter to a loved one; the paper pages that brought to us the words of our favorite book, these would become the medium for a group of artists who would reconstruct paper as a comforting present to the public.  Paper, Present Exhibition, held by Daelim Museum, in Seoul, was introduced December 7th, 2017. Spanning across three spacious floors, Paper Present displays the work of 10 international individual and group artists that, though starkly different in style, have come together under the single beauty of paper. The following touches on their artistic background and the concepts of their handicraft.
The first section, seen on the second floor, is of paperwork that has been reinterpreted into more complex and elaborate forms. Here, white paper is the foundation to architectural designs so incredible that one would have to take a closer look to realize it was paper all along.  Richard Sweeney – Born 1984 in England with a degree in 3D Design from Manchester Metropolitan University, Richard Sweeney weaves structural patterns from organic materials. Often, he works without any particular blueprint in mind; taking the medium in his hands to explore the science and potential of paper in 3-dimension. Tahiti Pehrson – Californian artist Tahiti Pehrson (1972) was at first a painter who was interested in the tight relationship between art and light. His fascination would evolve into discovering the movement of light upon monochromatic paper constructions cut into intricate geometric patterns.  Atelier oï – Based in La Neuveville, Switzerland, Atelier oï (1991) is a trio of designers Aurel Aebi, Armand Louis, and Patrick Reymond, who strive to connect humanity with nature through architecture and interior design, product design, and scenography. Atelier oï’s installation in Paper Present expresses the scenic beauty of Gifu Prefecture in Japan with the region’s own traditional paper.
One staircase above, the mood is awakened to welcome guests into a space much like their own living room. Everyday items such as wardrobes and mirrors are fashioned from paper designs showing the practicality—and the fun—of paper-cut objects. Torafu Architects – Japanese art studio Torafu Architects was established in 2004 by Koichi Suzuno and Shinya Kamuro. Since then, the duo has created a diverse collection of designs including homeware products and interior layouts for functional and artistic purposes.  Jule Waibel – Mundane fabrics and materials are reborn between German designer Jule Waibel’s (1986) fingers as she folds and unfolds paper into fashion designs that are structured to her taste. Waibel is active in Berlin and London, where she presents her handmade artistry captivating audiences from around the world.  Studio Job – Designers Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel, both graduates of the Design Academy Eindhoven, founded their studio in 2000 based in Antwerp, Belgium, and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Hand in hand, they have crafted iconic objects with malleable materials to express the physicality of design. Tord Boontje – Praised for his way of incorporating romanticism with modern design, Tord Boontje (1968) is an industrial product designer who emphasizes the ethereal in art. Upon opening his studio in 1996, Boontje went on to creating lavish installations in collaboration with the likes of Swarovski, Philips, and Alexander McQueen.  Zim&Zou – Paper is far from boring to Zim&Zou designers Lucie Thomas (1987) and Thibault Zimmermman (1986). Both born in France, the duo is stationed in Nancy of Lorraine and are now widely recognized for their impeccable designs that depict fantasy-like scenes—all through their favorite medium, paper.  Wanda Barcelona – The creative team of architect Inti Velez Botero, designer Daniel Mancini, and artist Iris Joval frequently visits the world of traditional origami whilst in their Wanda Barcelona (2007) studio in Barcelona, Spain. Paper and cardboard base materials take on ancient origami features but with a modern twist of the group’s innovative personality.
The uppermost floor is decorated with a hall of blush pink reeds; visitors walk through the paper field against mirrored reflections and are again reminded that paper is in fact, a gift from Mother Nature herself.   Maum Studio – Korea’s Maum Studio (2008), composed of 6 designers, is the sweet icing to Paper Present. They convey a multitude of original ideas through space, graphics, and flexible products, speaking of the heart of their artwork, wanting to be heard by viewers.  With communication as their design purpose, Maum Studio has participated with CGV, Monami, Naver, and other well-known corporations to reach a larger community.

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