Josée Bienvenu Gallery is pleased to present Flat Globe, Noriko Ambe’s second solo exhibition in New York. Noriko Ambe’s work maps the land between physical and emotional geography, between landscape and body. She draws with an X-Acto knife by cutting hundreds of sheets of Yupo, carving complex streams of swirls and ripples into the multi- layered stacks. The resulting sculptures evoke simultaneously the monumentality of canyons and valleys, the complexity of fine wrinkles on a skin surface as well as the joints and folds of a body.
Flat Globe refers to the making of the work itself. Noriko Ambe’s three-dimensional pieces are made of hundreds of flat sheets, volume builds up slowly by stratification, a slow growth process similar to the way a tree ages through spiral rings.
“ Time is an essential component in my work. Because my process is so laborious, my sculptures end up embodying the time taken to create them. The process is as important as the finished product. I started making art in two dimensions, with drawing and etching , and eventually began stacking paper and working in three dimensions. Then I began working with Yupo, a synthetic, translucent, white paper made in Japan. It has an organic quality that makes it feel like skin. In these sculptures, the paper is beautiful, even sublime. Once, when I was in an airplane, I saw a sea of clouds below me that made me want to melt into the natural world. In the topographies that I cut into paper, human life merges with nature, and all boundaries are dissolved.” (Noriko Ambe)
The exhibition includes a new group of Yupo wall pieces and cutout books as well as larger floor paper sculptures and three installations in flat file cabinets. She uses the ready-made metal cabinets with drawers, as architectural structures to be invaded by her sculptural topographies. The altered stacks of paper infiltrate the flat files and the drawers become the habitat of a new species of blank archives. Like in her cutout books of anatomy, art history or geography Noriko Ambe’s scalpel erases the boundaries between the natural and the man made.
Noriko Ambe was born in Saitama, Japan, she lives and works in New York and Tokyo. Her work was included in exhibitions at the Drawing Center, the Ise Foundation, the Bronx River Art Center in New York and in Japan Rising at the Palm Beach Institute in Florida.
Thank you to the Yupo Corporation for their support in this project.