I can’t resist a good opportunity for a pun. Iconic and revolutionary hip-hop artists, the Wu-Tang Clan shaped their genre and used the written word to write and re-shape the legacy of East-Coast rap. Innovative origami artists twist, turn, and transform sheets of paper into sculptural symbols of origami design potential. The Wu-Tang Clan’s ten members joined together to create a united force of creative output; Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami features nine international artists who represent the pioneers of their genre.
I’m a fan of artists Jiangmei Wu and Robert J. Lang (hence “Wu-Lang Clan”), both featured in Above the Fold and both visiting the Woodson Art Museum and kicking off 2020 in innovative and grand style. For Wu and Lang, folded paper functions as a springboard for ingenious design and creative problem solving.
Last week, Jiangmei Wu visited Wausau from Bloomington, Indiana, where she is an assistant professor in the School of Art, Architecture, and Design at Indiana Unicersity, Bloomington. Jiangmei’s residency included an educator workshop exploring origami applications in the classroom, a public presentation on her artwork, research, and sources of inspiration, and a two-part workshop during which participants constructed a folded-paper pendant light.
One month from today, origami master and physicist Robert J. Lang begins his Woodson Art Museum residency, and while I admit being completely intimidated, I look forward to learning more about his 700+ origami designs and his applications of origami in the classroom, in the “real world,” and beyond.
During Jiangmei’s inspiring residency, I met a few devout origami enthusiasts and several visitors whose curiosity had been piqued by the exhibition and the artist’s passion for the potential of folded designs. What aspect of origami innovation strikes a chord with you?
Visit soon, often, and during Robert J. Lang’s artist residency, February 22-23 to see what inspires you.