Jae Ko

I have been working with paper for the last thirty five years and with rolled paper in particular for over twenty years. My projects continue to evolve as I continue to experiment with different types of paper in terms of texture, thickness, width, and color as a sculptural material.

I began my exploration with Kraft paper when I first exposed large rolls to the nature elements in order to see how the paper would transform and what sort of metamorphosis would take place. I used pools of sumi ink, sea water, sand, dirt, and sunlight to effect this transformation.

I use various techniques to create a variety of three dimensional forms. I first unroll layers of paper adding machine tape from its original tight roll and then re-roll the layers in a more loose form in order to allow for manipulation. I then twist the paper, stack it, fold it, soak it, cut it, burry it, or just expose it to sunlight to see how it reacts.

The inspiration from my sculptures comes from topographic, geologic, industrial architectural and constructivist forms. I study landscape geology, I reflect on how architecture relates to the landscape and I think of how constructivists juxtaposed volumes and thought of constructing an “object”.

I love working with paper because of the challenge in using such a common, ordinary, everyday medium to create uncommon forms and with it new visual and sensual experiences. At times I transform paper and at other times the paper transforms itself; moreover, the changing paper shapes also transforms me, spaces and viewers.

My natural instinct is to draw imagery from very simple events like drops of rain falling into a pool of water that creates moving layers of waves – these are circular waves like patterns on paper and sand. I cannot work against this natural tendency; rather I join in and work together with nature making shapes by association.