New Cut Paper Book Sculptures by Noriko Ambe

Noriko Ambe’s Man and the Sea, cut on a book of the same name and completed in 2016

Noriko Ambe is a longtime Japanese transplant in the New York creative scene, who hand-slices thousands of paper sheets into remarkable sculptures. Ambe is exhibiting a new body of work at her solo show “Continuous Cutting Altered Daily” at the newly established Maho Kubota Gallery in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

Noriko Ambe at Maho Kubota Gallery (4)

Born in Saitama in 1967, Ambe began her paper-cut sculptures in 1999 in her New York studio. Her work now belongs to the MoMA and Whitney Museum of American Art collections. Ambe is an artist fascinated with the textural nuances and physicality offered by the medium of paper sculpture. Spoon & Tamago visited her NY studio in 2012!

Noriko Ambe at Maho Kubota Gallery (6)

Noriko Ambe at Maho Kubota Gallery (2)

LASERS-LITERATURE, cut on “Encyclopedia of the World Events” and completed in 2014

The gallery’s press release expands upon Ambe’s artistic practice, musing about her process and the way the stacked layers of paper seem to create a landscape in miniature:

As hundreds of fragments—each only a thin piece of paper—build up layer after layer… resonating with time or generating a series of variations to create a landscape that seems like a part of the earth seen from the sky above.

In addition to her signature paper-cut sculptures, the exhibition showcases three new pieces in her book series that dialogue with themes of surprise encounters, and cultural tension between Islamic and non-Islamic nations, and creative censorship.

Noriko Ambe at Maho Kubota Gallery (5)

Detail of “Linear-Actions Cutting Project”, created with synthetic paper and completed in 2016

According to Ambe, her creative intent with the cutting project lies largely with “mapping the mysterious land between physical and emotional geography,” in other words, Ambe is interested in playing the role of the cartographer; a person who maps out existing landscapes in order to give life to a new geography. For Ambe, paper mediates this sliced exploration of new worlds and new potential- books are no longer for reading, but instead, for cutting into and unveiling the pages ahead.

Maho Kubota Gallery
“Noriko Ambe  – Continuous Cutting Altered Daily”
2-4-7 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (Gmap)
June 24 – July 30, 2016
Tuesday – Saturday 12:00 – 7:00pm (closed Sun, Mon)

Noriko Ambe at Maho Kubota Gallery (3)

Detail of “Linear-Actions Cutting Project”


1 Comment

  1. Noriko Ambe’s work is truly stunning! Cut paper artwork has always been fascinating to me. I can only imagine how long each one of these takes!

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