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nelly2

Nelly Agassi worked primarily on a dress, she also had a public street performance where she asked people to make a formal wish using an Origami paper crane. Her exhibition work at the museum was a handmade dress held by strands of washi securely tied with stones. The Origami paper cranes were burnt after the residency.

mino-me2

Richard Bolai (Feinin) make every effort to teach the simple methods of making a handmade book. He also used the traditional methods of Japanese binding to produce a series of art books for members of the Mino committee, artists, and to the Mino paper museum. Yet the first impression of the work space was quite a shock. They also had a portable tolet in the yard which [we] never used.

kikiw

Christina Linderberg on her way out on the Shinkansen train photographed by Karen

Christina Lindeberg work may have been best described as tactile in nature. The artist focused on intricate paper twists and washi threads which she hung from parts of the gallery in her final exhibition. She was steadfast and mature over her unquestionable treatment during her stay. She never displayed her concern.

kiki-threads

Washi threads by Christina Lindeberg

goha

Malgorzata Niespodziewana was blessed with a host family, Takahashi where she had her own private space. She was also an artist whose personality help bond all the artists together. As part of her work, she produced these human forms out of washi, such as with the child she is holding up. The infant here is a premonition. She give birth to a first child a few years later and she has managed to reunite with, Karen Havskov Jensen, Nelly Agassi, Christina Lindeberg and the Shinoharas since then.

karen

Karen Havskov Jensen experiences on this residency had its ups and downs, and also was traumatic. Yet she was capable to pull through and produced washi works using a process of patterns and mathematics, and thus her three-dimensional sculptures took on a life of it own. Recently, she sent me a postcard project she’s been working on which involved objects in a suitcase, a trademark in her work. The photograph shows she eating a supermarket brought Susi meal which we had most of the time located at the only corner shop in the town.

karen44

Karen Havskov Jensen’s washi objects

Minopaper Richard Bolai ©2008

What was your experiences at the Mino Paper village residency?

I was lucky because I stayed in the temple. I had my private house in Japanese style with a small garden. Also my family was very warm and welcoming . I still contact them now and then. The most difficult part of the residency was I sometimes didn’t understand Japanese and it hampered my co-operations. I must say that the Japanese are mystery even now. During my stay I met the interesting artists. The friendship I gained I treat like a blessing in my life.

How or has washi paper has influenced your art?

Working with Japanese paper has affected my artistic creation. Firstly, this paper is very strong and secondly, it resembles skin; Crushed looks like wrinkles and made from natural fibres is similar to hairy skin and perforated to a skin pore. The paper I discovered completed my graphic work, in which not only from the matrices, but also the surface.

Contact with another culture has enriched me as a human being and as an artist as well. I have taken an interest in the Far East. Two years after my journey to Japan I travelled to India and Nepal. In India I was observing people, their bodies and the relation of my body to theirs. I was interested in handmade papers, too. The Far East inspiration was the source of my artistic work and became so important that I used it in my doctorate (I developed a concept of a universal body).

What would be your guidelines for artists wishing to apply?

If you are able to live with a family together, if you are open on another culture and habits, if you are able to concentrate on your artistic work during 3 months in the small town, if you can try to understand Japanese which is sometimes not too easy… and if you say 4 times “yes” you can try to apply.

Has the use of the Washi material caused any interest in your country?

Absolutely YES! Not only in my country but during my another exhibitions in other countries as well. People ask me a lot of questions, writes to me, they can see the difference between plain paper and handmade washi.

Thank you Gosha (Malgorzata Niespodziewana)

blood-of-kumari-devi

Blood of Kumari Devi, 2005, linocut, stamp, kozo wrinkled paper, 152×52,5 cm

red1

Red, 2006, installation, paper figure, thread, linocut, artificial roses, wood, rope

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Fragile, 2003, linocut on Mino Washi handmade paper
Blood
, 2003, Mino Washi paper, silk thread
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Malgorzata Niespodziewana

Malgorzata Niespodziewana’s website:
www.niespodziewana.go.pl

Contact:

Malgorzata Niespodziewana is an conceptual artist who works as a print maker. She lives and works from Poland.

Richard Bolai [Feinin]

I am a trained Bookbinder which in 2002, I went on a three month residency relating to Washi paper making. According to the Japan Foundation, the Mino Paper Village is considered one of the most sort after residencies offered in japan. This website is aimed to give an incite of it but also as an appreciation of the beauty of washi. The Mino Paper Project's focus is to export the craft of washi paper internationally, but also it learns from artists many other ways the paper may be used

Useful links on Mino Paper Village

Disclaimer and Email

All photographs and accompanying articles appearing on site are the exclusive property of Richard Bolai © 2008 All Rights Reserved.