Kyoko Ibe’s concept of her practice as an art of rebirth and renewal has come into its own, giving fresh significance to the old idea of kankonshi (“paper with its soul brought back to life”) that “expresses and revives our shared human skill and compassion.”
Appointed by the Japanese Government as a Special Advisor for Cultural Exchange, Ibe has worked in many parts of the world as an international ambassador for washi and is well known in the United States for her installations and stage designs. Her solo show "Washi Tales: The Paper Art of Ibe Kyoko" was held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2011 and in 2016 New York's Asia Society presented "Recycling: Washi Tales," a theatrical performance around four tales of paper making, in which Ibe's work played a prominent role.
She has collaborated with many foreign theater groups, and received an Isadora Duncun Visual Design Award for the stage set of Tandy Beal Company in 1987. She recently had a solo exhibition at the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, where she was an adjunct professor. She has received many awards, nationally and internationally; and was selected to be a Cultural Ambassador in 2009 by the Agency of Cultural Affairs of Japan. She is a professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology and a director for the Japan Paper Academy.