Paper Fern: A Solo Exhibition by Wuba Yang
2022.01.08 - 2022.08.28｜ Store, Yu-Hsiu Museum of Art
Taiwan, Coloured by Fern
Plants may be endemic. Wuba Yang was amazed at the variety of ferns that can be found everywhere in the mountains of Taiwan when she searched for the island's representative plants. Taiwan, an island merely approximately 6.5 million years old, has become a refuge for various ancient ferns, allowing them to settle, spread and reside in the island. Thus, crafting three-dimensional paper ferns becomes the core of Wuba’s practice. The long hanging pieces symbolize Taiwan as an ark carrying a diversity of ferns and other species. The paper plant series includes endemic, endangered, and common ferns in Taiwan, inviting the audience to take a closer look at the wonder of the island.
Plants, transformed into paper crafts
Wuba has been exploring papercutting since she was six years old. Every time she comes across a different paper, she is inspired by the new material as making a new friend. Papercutting allows her to interact with new materials and get familiar with them. Motivated by her desire to be close to nature, Wuba, who is skilled at papercutting but not at planting, has been crafting paper ferns based on Taiwan’s common and indigenous ferns since 2017. She reveals the beauty of various plants with her papercutting skill, creating paper ferns that never wilt so that the plants can stay fresh forever with us.
Plants, paper and crafting, an ever-evolving cycle of life
Contemporary urbanites become more and more distant from nature and gradually lose their ability to appreciate and observe the environment. For creating paper ferns, Wuba has been to libraries to gather information, studied with fern experts, and searched online databases. She has assembled the collected materials and compared, identified, sketched these materials. After selecting proper paper, she starts depicting the plant’s postures with papercutting. Wuba considers herself a student of nature and repeats the trivial but critical processes over and over again. She shifts between plants and her personal life, listening wholeheartedly and practicing day by day, and finally completes realistic paper ferns.
Born in Kaohsiung, Wuba has been making papercutting crafts since the age of six, and she’s specialized in the flora and fauna motif. Different from traditional two-dimensional papercutting, Wuba makes three-dimensional crafts with particular techniques. Since 2017, she has started to draw inspiration from Taiwan’s ferns, manifesting Taiwan as the “kingdom of ferns” by creating endemic and common species of ferns to Taiwan with paper crafting. Wuba is skillful in depicting plant’s postures with papercutting, making evergreen paper plants while avoiding collecting plants alive. She hopes that more people can learn about the beauty of ferns through papercutting, bringing delicate ferns into our daily life in the paper crafting form. She also hopes to break the stereotype of traditional papercutting and give a new look to the declining art of papercutting.
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