This exhibition shows how paper is made, the variety of Japanese handmade paper and a brief history through colour, texture, decoration and form, and the works of two artists, Elaine Cooper and Mayumi Kaneko, who use washi in their work and a selection of works which use washi from Mino in Gifu Prefecture.
Elaine is a leading expert on washi and an artist and designer who, having learned from papermaking craftsmen in Mino, makes artworks from her own paper, sourcing kōzo fibres from Japan. Her stay in Japan in 1991 proved to be a unique and enduring collaboration.
Mayumi, who was originally a kimono designer in Tokyo, came to the UK in 2003. She has an interest in textiles and her works use yarn made from paper and is ever exploring its potential. Having been made aware of the beauty of Japanese use of colour and design while in Japan, Mayumi’s current works are inspired by this and her everyday surroundings in the west of England.
Washi is made all over Japan, but in 2014, the craftsmanship of Japanese paper in three communities – Mino in Gifu, Ogawa/Higashi-chichibu in Saitama and Misumi in Shimane – in Japan was inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The exhibition WASHI - PAPER: Japan’s Handmade Paper is open until early July 2015.