Rethinking origami as ‘Folding Paper’ / Sacramento Press

Miri Golan’s “Two Books,” (left) and Vincent Floderer’s “Clitocybe” (right)

If you think of frogs or birds when someone mentions origami, then perhaps you need to visit the new exhibit, “Folding Paper: the Infinite Possibilities of Origami,” at the Crocker Art Museum, where you’ll see some frogs and some birds, but you’ll also see pieces created by artists from around the globe that go far beyond what’s taught in elementary school.

How about a dress that can be worn standing up, and a matching pair of shoes? Each item was created from a single sheet of parchment paper, without making any cuts. If a parchment dress isn’t to your liking, perhaps a red dress created from a more traditional dress fabric will suit you for that special evening out.

Origami inspires clothing and telescopes (Image by: David Alvarez)

What do dresses have to do with origami? Well, as this exhibit shows, the art of folding paper touches many aspects of daily life, including clothing, buildings, maps and even phone designs.

You won’t want to rush through this exhibit because the lighting is as important as each piece. Watch how the shadows play on Bernie Peyton’s “Frog on a Leaf,” which reminded me of a haiku. Move in close, to the left, to the right, then step back and see how the light shifts, allowing some parts to come forward and others to recede.

One of the most important pieces in the exhibit is Miri Golan’s “Two Books,” which have tiny people figures emerging from the Koran and the Torah. The tiny figures, which appear to be worshipping, come together in peace.

As surprising as the parchment dress is the array of materials used to create these objects. While some artists worked with traditional materials, others, like Giang Dinh, chose to use watercolor paper, as Dinh does for his piece “Fly.”

“Fly” by Giang Dinh, 2010, watercolor paper (Image by: David Alvarez)

Spheres created by artists from Poland, Japan and Germany incorporated metallic paper, ticker tape, paper tape and even copy paper, while Robert J. Lang used glassine paper for his piece, “3 7 Hyperbole Limit, Opus 600,” one of few relatively flat pieces in the exhibit.

The tiniest piece in the exhibit is a crane folded from a candy wrapper. Be sure to take time to read about Sadako Sasaki and how she came to fold this crane, if you do not already know her story.

What should you not miss? The film showing speed folding; Lang’s giclee prints of the crease patterns he used in creating “Bull Moose,” “Scorpion,” and “Red-Tailed Hawk”; the story of the impact of origami on science and industry; and the history of origami, including information about Akira Yoshizawa, who became known as Japan’s first origami fine artist.

Robert J. Lang’s “Scorpion” and “Red-Tailed Hawk” and giclee prints of crease patterns. (Image by: David Alvarez)

This exhibit, curated by Meher McArthur, opened Sunday, June 30, and runs through September 29. To complement the exhibit, the Crocker Art Museum is offering several special events for adults and children. Please visit the museum’s website for more information.

Sacramento Press / Rethinking origami as ‘Folding Paper’.


Congressman starts members-only meditation session – The Hill’s In The Know

Rep. Tim Ryan is inviting colleagues to swap partisan bickering for a little bit of peace and quiet.

The Ohio Democrat is a meditation devotee — and he has an inkling, if lawmakers give it a shot, the calming practice could find a few more fans in Congress. That’s why Ryan recently started a weekly members-only meditation session.

“You can come in and practice mindfulness, you can practice centering prayer, you can just be quiet, or do whatever you want,” Ryan explains to ITK.

The congressman, who meditates daily both at his Longworth House Office Building digs and at home in Ohio, says it’s about creating “a little space that we can be with each other without the yelling and screaming and drama that we sometimes end up having to deal with.”

So far the 39-year-old lawmaker says there hasn’t been a “super response” yet — only one or two members have stopped by at the handful of sessions Ryan has hosted. He figures when the House schedule gets a little more consistent in the coming weeks, however, more members will join in.

The interest, he says, has been on both sides of the aisle: “I just think it’s because with the level of activity and information and stress that everybody’s under, having a little space and a little quiet time in your day is not an issue.”

When asked how tough it is to balance meditation with his congressional duties, Ryan, a former high school football player, replied, “It’s hard for everybody. We’re all in the same boat. You can be a mom of two kids or a member of Congress. I just encourage everybody to give it a try. There’s something really profound that happens when you have some time with silence.”

According to Ryan, House members aren’t the only one who could benefit from a sense of tranquility. The lawmaker, whose book on meditation, A Mindful Nation, was published last year, is pushing the Department of Education to add social emotional learning (SEL) to the curriculum in schools across the country.

But it’s his co-workers in Congress that might really come to appreciate meditation, he says. “This place needs it. We could use a little bit of space.”

via Congressman starts members-only meditation session – The Hill’s In The Know.