Robert J. Lang Emperor Scorpion HP, opus 593, 2011
Robert J. Lang
Emperor Scorpion HP, opus 593, 2011

BELLEVUE, WA – Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami is the first museum exhibit to explore the evolution of paper folding. Over 140 works by 45 master folders from around the world showcase the power of origami and its modern-day application in mathematics, science, design, and the global peace movement.

Origami, or Japanese paper folding, began centuries ago in Japan, likely in religious ceremonies and as a pastime of court nobles. By the 17th century, much of the population was folding birds, animals, and boxes. Paper folding was also prominent in Europe. In both regions, the practice was regarded primarily as a children’s craft or hobby for adults with nimble fingers. It was not considered “art” until the mid 20th century, when folders around the world began experimenting with different styles, techniques, and materials. Today, origami is a sophisticated international art form worthy of museum exhibition, collection, and scholarship.

Folding Paper showcases contemporary origami by renowned artists from countries as diverse as Japan, the United States, Uruguay, and Russia. It presents them within the context of origami history and examines the many evolving styles of origami today, from representational figures from nature to modular geometric forms and abstract sculptures.

The exhibition also explores the relationship between origami and art, science, and mathematics, and demonstrates its tremendous impact in areas as diverse as space exploration, medical research, fashion design, and even as a powerful tool for world peace. Designed to be an immersive exploration, Folding Paper includes videos, photographs, and books, as well as interactive opportunities for visitors of all ages.

Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami is curated by Meher McArthur with tour organized by the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, and International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. The exhibition was generously supported by the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Bellevue Arts Museum is a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design. BAM engages the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications, featuring regional, national, and international artists. Visit to learn more.

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