Echiko Ohira: Works In Paper
September 7 – October 14
The large-scale paper sculptures in Echiko Ohira: Works In Paper echo distantly the forms of the natural world. Countless layers of Kraft and recycled paper are torn, stacked, and sewn into shapes that might be the memories of nests, sea creatures, and flowers. Some pieces are left raw, others are painted with searing cadmium red or deep indigo, or stained faint brown with tea.
Other, smaller works form orbs of twisted paper intertwined with other elements: delicate networks of knotted string or twisted wires that hover over the globes like sea foam drifting on tiny worlds.
“From my childhood, paper has been a part of my daily life. I was born and grew up in an old, traditional wooden house in Japan. Inside my house there was so much paper: fusuma screens and shoji screens divided the rooms and on the walls, there were always beautiful hanging scrolls. Paper is a very important material in Japanese architecture, and I can say the same thing about Japanese culture.
As a child, I liked to make things with paper from my surroundings. I played with paper dolls and folded origami. I also liked to draw very much. My father, who was an architect, brought me lots of cast-off blueprints from his office. I used to draw on the backside of the paper with pencil and crayon.
Time passed, then marriage. After spending nearly three years in Mexico, my husband and I settled in Los Angeles.
Before I knew it, our apartment was full of stacks of brown paper bags that were used only once carrying groceries from the supermarket to our apartment. My first paper works were made from these grocery bags. I enjoyed making small sculptures with them in the apartment, and soon our living room turned into my studio.
I don’t need special materials for my artwork. I love only ordinary materials from my surroundings, such as found objects and recycled paper, too. I like to give them a new life, and
hope that they speak something to you.”
Echiko Ohira was born and educated in Japan and currently lives and works in the Los Angeles area. Her work is collected by East and West Cultural Center, Tokyo; Japan Nippon Steel Corporation, L.A, CA; Urawa City Hall, Saitama, Japan, and many private collections globally.