Amazing Japanese paper creations in Allentown

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Featured Images: Kakuko Ishii, Musubu R, 2012, Washi paper (Mizuhiki) and pigment, Image courtesy of the artist, © Kakuko Ishii.  | Eriko Horiki, Washi Light Object TANE, 2017, Washi paper and resin mold, light fixture (steel), Image courtesy of the artist, © Eriko Horiki.

Washi Transformed opens this weekend 

Allentown, Pa. –The Allentown Art Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the special exhibition Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper on Sunday, October 10, 2021, and continuing on view through January 2, 2022.

Allentown is the first stop on a tour of the exhibition, which goes through 2024.

Washi Transformed presents more than thirty highly textured two-dimensional works, expressive sculptures, and dramatic installations that explore the astonishing potential of traditional Japanese paper. Nine Japanese artists embrace the seemingly infinite possibilities of washi, underscoring the unique stature this ancient art form has earned in the realm of international contemporary art.

Historically, washi has been used as a base for Japanese calligraphy, painting, and printmaking; but when oiled, lacquered, or otherwise altered, it has other fascinating applications in architecture, religious ritual, fashion, and art. The breathtaking creativity of the artistic visionaries included in this exhibition deepens our understanding of how the past informs the present, and how it can build lasting cultural bridges out of something as seemingly simple and ephemeral as paper.

Washi Transformed features work by artists Hina Aoyama, Eriko Horiki, Kyoko Ibe, Yoshio Ikezaki, Kakuko Ishii, Yuko Kimura, Yuko Nishimura, Takaaki Tanaka, and Ayomi Yoshida.

Opening day of the exhibition in Allentown is Sunday, October 10, from 11 a.m. till 4 p.m. Members get an exclusive first look on Saturday, October 9. 

Gallery and Store hours at the Museum are 11 a.m. till 4 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday, with extended hours (till 8 p.m.) and free admission after 4 p.m. on Third Thursdays. Thanks to the Museum’s generous sponsors, admission to the Museum is free on Sundays.

Also on display on the second floor of the Museum is the exhibition Intuition & Reflection: The Ceramics of Toshiko Takaezu.

The Museum continues to follow certain COVID restrictions, including requiring masks in the galleries. To plan a visit go to

The Museum is located at 31 North Fifth Street, Allentown. Phone is 610-432-4333

Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper was organized by Meher McArthur and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC

The exhibition program at the Museum is supported through the generosity of the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation and the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment. 

THE ALLENTOWN ART MUSEUM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to use the arts and culture as a catalyst to drive interaction, experimentation, and social change for everyone. By collecting, preserving, studying, exhibiting, interpreting, and teaching visual art, the Museum enlightens, engages, energizes, and empowers people—transforming the community one person and one idea at a time. For more information please visit 

INTERNATIONAL ARTS & ARTISTS in Washington, DC, is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, arts institutions and the public. Visit

IA&A is proud to collaborate for a fourth time with Meher McArthur, curator of successful IA&A traveling exhibitions Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (2012-2016) and Above the Fold: New Expressions in Contemporary Origami Art (2015-2020); and co-curator of Nature, Tradition and Innovation: Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection (2016-2019).

About the Curator

Meher McArthur is the Art & Cultural Director of Japan House, Los Angeles, and a curator and historian of Japanese art. She curated the IA&A traveling exhibitions Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (2012-2016) and Above the Fold: New Expressions in Contemporary Origami (2015 -2020) and co-curated Nature, Tradition and Innovation: Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection (2016-2019). McArthur received an MA in Japanese Studies from Cambridge University; a postgraduate diploma in Asian Art from Sotheby’s School of Oriental Studies (SOAS), London University; and an MA in Art and Archaeology from SOAS, London University

Tour Schedule

Scheduled U.S. tour dates for Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper include: Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA (October 10, 2021 – January 2, 2022); Longmont Museum, Longmont, CO (January 28, 2022 – May 15, 2022); D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA (June 11, 2022 – September 4, 2022); Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, FL (November 3, 2022 – April 2, 2023); Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH (June 24, 2023 – September 17,

2023); Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA (October 13, 2023 – January 7, 2024); and the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University, State College, PA (September 11, 2024 – December 8, 2024).
Information and image provided to TVL by:
Chris Potash
Manager of Marketing and Public Relations
Allentown Art Museum