Throughout human history, paper has been essential in countless developments that have transformed the way we think, live, and act. Paper as we know it today originated in China over 2,000 years ago during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). The ancient Silk Road eventually brought paper to the West, where it was quickly adopted and widely used. Since its genesis, paper has been valued for its relatively easy, cost-effective production and functional versatility.
In 1453, Johann Gutenberg invented the first printing press in Germany – an innovation that revolutionized the spread of information and initiated a proliferation of literacy and scholarship. For centuries, printed publications such as books, newspapers, magazines, flyers and pamphlets were the primary sources for information and communication. In recent years, however, these printed publications are becoming obsolete as we increasingly rely on digital platforms. In addition to this paradigm shift, environmental concerns are cited as reason to abandon published print and reduce paper products in favor of a more eco-friendly digital alternative.
Artists who use paper as the primary medium for their artworks defy the mainstream understanding of books as antiquated artifacts and paper as a cheap, disposable commodity. These materials are used as points of departure for infinite creative possibilities achieved through drawing, painting, cutting, carving, printing, folding, sculpting, and assembling art that highlights the universality of paper.