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Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami
Paul Jackson (British), 'Organic Abstract,' 2011, paper, pastel, sealant Daniel Kwan (Chinese American), detail of 'Six Interlocking Long Pentagonal Prisms,' 90 rectangles of paper Robert J. Lang (American), 'Bull Moose, opus 413,' 2011, One uncut square of Korean hanji paper Vincent Floderer (French), detail of 'Coral Sponge,' 2011, special restoration tissue paper, beeswax Linda Tomoko Mihara (Japanese American), detail of 'Peace Sphere,' 1996, 18 cranes folded from a single sheet of paper, with cuts, no glue


Folding Paper is a groundbreaking exhibition that explores the evolution of origami from craft to fine art, and its stunning modern-day applications in the fields of mathematics, engineering, design, and the global peace movement. Works by 45 master folders from around the world—from countries as diverse as Japan, the United States, Uruguay, and Russia—showcase the power and potential of contemporary origami. In these artists' hands, paper is a medium for infinite creativity.

The exhibition's four sections illustrate the transformation of origami into its current vehicle for artistic, scientific, and spiritual expression:

  1. The History of Origami
  2. Animals and Angels: Representations of Real and Imagined Realms
  3. Angles and Abstractions: Geometric Forms and Conceptual Constructions
  4. Inspirational Origami: Impact on Science, Industry, Fashion, and Beyond.

The works range from lifelike and representational to mathematical and computer-generated to lyrical and abstract to social and political. The award-winning documentary film, Between the Folds, features 18 of the artists in the exhibition and would correlate wonderfully with exhibition programming.

Folding Paper was developed by independent curator, author, and educator Meher McArthur, former curator of East Asian Art at Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California. Dr. Robert J. Lang, Folding Paper artist and physicist, serves as exhibition advisor, and he and McArthur co-authored the exhibition catalogue. Lang is recognized as one of the world's leading masters of paper folding, and a pioneer of the marriage of origami with mathematics and science.

IA&A developed Folding Paper for tour through a partnership with the Japanese American National Museum. The exhibition has been generously supported by the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

“To most, the real beauty of origami lies in its simplicity, allowing everyone to create their interpretation of the world in paper.”

- Vanessa Gould, director, Between the Folds


“In the beginning we didn’t know what would be possible, but then we tried to push the limits and eventually found that everything could be made.”

- Erik Demaine, artist, excerpt from Between the Folds


Number of Works: 142 works, including origami-related photograph murals, videos, books, wall projections, and woodblock prints
Curator: Meher McArthur, independent curator
Organized by: Meher McArthur and IA&A
Approximate size: 2,500 square feet
Security: Moderate security
Fee: $25,000 plus outgoing shipping
Shipping: IA&A makes all arrangements; exhibitors pay outgoing shipping within contiguous U.S.
Booking Period: 12 weeks
Publication: Educational Packet

Exhibition Catalogue authored by Meher McArthur and Robert J. Lang; Published by IA&A (ISBN: 978-0-966-28596-3)
Awards: Silver and Honorable Awards at the 42nd Creativity International Award for book design (interior and jacket)

Tour: March 2012 – January 2016
Contact: Alyssa Hockenberry



Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
March 10, 2012 - August 26, 2012

Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery of Keene State College, Keene, NH
October 14, 2012 - January 6, 2013

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI
January 26, 2013 - April 7, 2013

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
June 30, 2013 - September 29, 2013

Oregon Historical Society, Portland, OR
October 19, 2013 - January 11, 2014

Peoria Riverfront Museum, Peoria, IL
January 31, 2014 - April 27, 2014

Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
May 16, 2014 - September 21, 2014

Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, Bonita Springs, FL
October 10, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, UT
January 29, 2015 - June 20, 2015

Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Baton Rouge, LA
July 11, 2015 - September 27, 2015

Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID
October 24, 2015 - January 17, 2016




      Exhibition Opening at the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
      March 10, 2012

      Interview with Linda Tomoko Mihara
      Los Angeles, CA, March 10, 2012

      Interview with Sipho Mabona
      Los Angeles, CA, March 10, 2012

      Interview with Martin Demaine
      Los Angeles, CA, March 10, 2012


      Redefining 'billfold'
      NPR Segment - Marketplace Life, interview by Tess Vigeland, July 20, 2012

      Folding paper: Origami as contemporary art
      LA Observed, by Nancy Matsumoto, June 20, 2012

      Origami Show Knows When to Fold ‘em
      Los Angeles Downtown News, by Richard Guzmán, April 18, 2012

      Know How to Fold ‘Em: How Origami Changed Science, From Heart Stents to Airbags
      LA Weekly, by Susan Bell, April 26, 2012

      Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami—An Interview with Curator Meher McArthur
      Discover Nikkei, by Darryl Mori, March 2, 2012

      Sipho Mabona’s Swarm of Flying Money Origami Locusts
      yatzer.com, by Apostolos Mitsios, March 16, 2012

      Roll Over, Picasso…Origami to be fetaured in art museums across the U.S.
      The Paper: The Magazine of OrigamiUSA, by Meher McArthur, March 16, 2012

      ‘Origami Engineer’ Flexes to Create Stronger, More Agile Materials – Profile: Zhong You
      Science Magazine, by Zeeya Merali, June 17, 2011

      The Big Idea – Extreme Origami
      National Geographic, by Rob Kunzig, September 15, 2009