Sunday, August 4, 2019

Origami

We'd been meaning to check out the Museum of Fine Arts in St Petersburg and finally we got there and liked it a lot. It's on the waterfront downtown and well worth a visit.
 The idea was to go and check out some European masters on display but my wife also wanted to go see the origami exhibit which naturally didn't interest me. And of course I was wrong. I'll save the European art, the stuff in traditional mold for a quick walk through the astonishing paper folding art I had never previously been exposed to...not like this:
 Normally I photograph the captions attached to the art for me to use later, to incorporate as part of my narrative. In this case the information was just too dense, so with my apologies I include all the word in photographs for you to ignore or digest as you prefer, starting here:
Paper folding it turns out is a 20th century art form originating of course in Japan. But what we saw in St Petersburg took it to a new level and we walked around the room with our jaws hanging slack.
These simple geometric shapes repeated in large frames draw you in and I found myself staring, mesmerized by the repetitive designs.
 This one I included for my own artistic endeavor, me looming like a shade in the background!

I cannot imagine the hours of work that went into creating this, but before that I can't imagine dreaming up the design in the first place.



The Folded Light globes are visible in the photo below floating like puffer fish across the ceiling, quite lovely.
   As for the one giant paper sculpture Tampa Bay's free weekly Creative Loafing has a delightful review as part of their excellent report on the exhibit:
"When I think of origami, I don’t normally think of fine art. I imagine palm-sized paper frogs and cranes made by small children. One of the things I love about being an art writer in the Tampa Bay area is how our local cultural institutions continue to surprise me. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when I strolled into the MFA to view Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami.
This origami is larger than life. Take Jiangmei Wu’s "Ruga Swan," for example. It took the MFA four hours and ten staff members to install this one work of art. The 8.5 foot tall by 20 foot long folded cardboard installation arrives flat, to be assembled by museum staff on-site. Because of this, the cardboard sculpture is a little different every time it is shown in a different gallery  it is site-specific. At the MFA it sprawls across the Hazel Hough wing, an abstract vision of a bird in flight."
The exhibit is open through the 22nd of September and to miss it would be a shame, just seven hours north of Key West. Actually I like St Pete so its always delightful visiting the town that used to be known as "God's waiting room" and is now a youthful and vibrant destination.
We had left Rusty with a dog sitter thanks to the ever useful rover.com and as we made our way back to the car we passed a musician and dropped him off a tip as we walked into the shade of the splendid baobab  trees: