TAYLOE PIGGOTT GALLERY ANNOUNCES FABULATION AND REMEMBRANCE
AN EXHIBITION OF WASHI WORKS BY ARTIST KYOKO IBE
Exhibition Dates: 16 December – 29 January 2023
JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING – TAYLOE PIGGOTT GALLERY is pleased to present Fabulation and Remembrance, a solo exhibition of work by Japanese artist Kyoko Ibe, on view December 16th, 2022 through January 29th, 2023. A private artist talk will be held on Friday, December 16th, from 5 - 6 pm.
Fabulation and Remembrance presents a selection of handmade paper works, whether mounted on panel, or fashioned meticulously into exquisite folding screens. Born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1941, Ibe first worked with washi—traditional Japanese hand-made paper—during the 1960s. She is now one of Japan's most senior and respected artists in the medium, creating site-specific installations and theater sets that fill large architectural spaces, as well as more domestic-scale panels and folding screens fashioned out of dyed and pulped antique documents.
Ibe has largely grounded her recent practice in the recycling of antique documents from pre-modern times. She had already garnered international recognition through her work with ganpi, paper made from the inner bark of Diplomorpha sikokiana (an upland shrub), a material she still uses to fashion weightless-looking, large-scale installations or stage sets that often are kept in constant motion by ambient breezes. Over the last twenty years, however, she has also been creating pictorial compositions, typically folding screens, from antique washi paper and myriad paper fragments—receipts, contracts, bills, and letters—that were inked in centuries past.
These panels and screens combine multiple layers of representation and metaphor. In one sense almost pictorial, they can evoke the night sky, a stormy sea, or a distant mountain range, but each of them also powerfully conveys the artist's conviction that pre-industrial handmade paper is far superior to its contemporary counterpart and, just like old timber, grows ever more beautiful with the passage of time. Ink that was brushed onto the original documents makes an important contribution, surviving the dyeing and pulping processes to infuse Ibe's compositions with varying shades of gray that contribute to a unique aesthetic. With the passage of time this recycled antique natural resource grows ever more beautiful and evocative, ever more expressive of its mission as kankonshi (“paper that brings souls back to life”).
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 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.