Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday Wonder: Moving Paper

The last time I was in New York City, I visited the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) at Columbus Circle. There I saw the exhibit Slash: Paper Under the Knife and came home with the catalogue so that I could spend some time with images of the 52 technically innovative artworks, not a few of which are marvels of cut paper construction. The show remains on view until April 10.

In conjunction with the exhibition, MAD is sponsoring Moving Paper, a cut paper animation festival. Until March 1, anyone could create and upload a video or vote on a posted video. Online visitors voted for "People's Choice" awards, while a group of artists and MAD curators judged the videos for "MAD Choice" awards. Winners will be notified by March 14. Each winning film will be screened at the Moving Paper Festival, which will take place in New York City on March 27-28. Two grand prizes of $250 and four runner-up prizes of $150 will be awarded along with a copy of the Slash catalogue.

Below are two of the highest rated films. The first is my favorite.

Forbidden City by Lily Hong Lei: A combination of traditional Chinese cut paper and digital animation, this may be the most visually and aurally powerful of the entries I've viewed. The image that you will see in the metaphorical window panel is the Chinese symbol for "prosperity". Keep that in mind as you watch how a peaceful and harmonious surrounding (the setting is a teahouse) dissolves into an inharmonious scene of violence before returning to its former serene state. Consider as well the use of paper as a tool of art as well as a means to disseminate propaganda. The haunting music is an adaptation of a centuries-old qin melody, Guangling San, which is said to be associated with the upholding of truth and protection of the weak.

Forbidden City from lilyhonglei on Vimeo.

Legend of the Raven God King by Leah Nobrich: This film features animated cut paper puppets that "perform" behind a scrim. The text tells the legend of the raven.

Go here to view all the videos. Each film, in its own way, is a wonder of moving paper.


Louise Gallagher said...

Okay -- so that is amazing and powerful and astounding.

once again -- you've blown my mind! :)

And once again, you've given me another avenue to wander along, uncovering gifts of the human kind.

Nameste my friend! I am so grateful to know you.

Monica Sharman said...

WOW. I love paper, and you introduce me to some really excellent things I would never have known about otherwise!

Anonymous said...

paper is such a beautiful word

Laura said...

This is fascinating. I always find the neatest things over here, Maureen. I'm going to share this with my eleven-year-old, who has a knack for paper art.

Thank you again, mighty explorer!

Kathleen Overby said...

Paper. Lovely paper. Confession: I'm addicted. The craving for the simplicity and elegance of paper never wanes. This was stunning. It's uses myriad. Thanks Maureen. (Wanes? Myriad? Where in the heck did that come from?) :)