The history, significance and transformation of the paper in focus on the East Asian museum

By on February 5, 2018

Through unique collections from China, Japan and Korea, the exhibition Paper Stories shows the paper’s history, technology and art crafts. Among the most exciting items is the world’s oldest paper. Paper Stories opens February 23 at the East Asian Museum.

Paper, this 2000 year old revolutionary invention, originated from China, and technology developed in East Asia for a long time before reaching the Middle East and then Europe. Eventually, the paper spread around the world and soon became an indispensable part of our lives. In China, Japan and Korea, the paper has been the most important medium for the East Asian countries’ arts, culture and history.

– Paper Stories tells the paper’s fascinating history and significance for humanity development, from the world’s oldest paper to contemporary art that shows how tradition continues in modern times, says Si Han, curator at the World Cultural Museums.

Paper Stories are structured in three parts. The visitor first detects the museum’s unique collections from China, Japan and Korea, including the world’s oldest paper. Here, the paper’s story and significance for the world’s development are told. The exhibition also raises the material’s multi-faceted use, such as calligraphy, decoration and function. Many of the paper items from the collections are sensitive to light, therefore parts of the exhibition will be replaced during the exhibition period.

In the Paper Gallery section, contemporary art is in focus. The content will be replaced three times during the exhibition period. First off, the Swedish fashion designer Bea Szenfeld, award-winning for her experimental artistic garments, was created by hand. The paper’s transformation and the seemingly endless possibilities this material offers is an ongoing theme in the Paper Stories exhibition and something that Bea Szenfeld’s works with its vibrant impressions and unique design language embodies.

Ateljé Draken is a creative oasis for small and big creators, a place filled with creativity and inspiration, with the ability to fold, cut, paint, tape and build – in short, all you can do with paper.

Paper Stories are displayed at the East Asian Museum at Skeppsholmen from February 23, 2018 to April 30, 2019.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Stockholm