Noriko Ambe, ‘Vortex’, 2017, Japan Society Benefit Auction 2017

Courtesy of the artist

Tokyo-born, New York-based artist Noriko Ambe creates delicate paper sculpture through the painstaking process of cutting and layering hundreds to thousands of sheets of paper by hand. For the artist, the resulting sculptural forms resemble geographical and psychological topographies. The white, low-relief swirl of Vortex also recalls references the internal terrain in Ambe’s Cabinet series, where sculptures are placed inside metal cabinets. Additional work by the artist include sculptures made from other artists’ monographs with forms inspired by their work and, most recently, a collaboration with students in Singapore and Japan to produce sculptures from textbooks. Ambe’s work appeared in Japan Society's centennial exhibition Making a Home (2007) and is included in many collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York.
Courtesy of Japan Society

Signature: Unsigned

About Noriko Ambe

Noriko Ambe creates what she calls “Linear Actions,” pristine white sculptures composed of layers of a synthetic paper made from polypropylene, called Yupo. Resembling three-dimensional topographies, the objects are the product of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of sheets of paper that Ambe laboriously and painstakingly cuts by hand using a craft knife, before layering them on top of each other, creating effects of both fragility and solidity. “I have been mapping the mysterious land between physical and emotional geography. I want to attain something sublime,” she has said. Ambe’s work also suggests psychological terrains, especially in her sculptures that incorporate metal cabinets—metaphors for the human body, with the paper forms within signifying internal life. Other works include artist book sculptures, which Ambe sculpts by cutting out portions of other artists’ monographs, creating forms inspired by their work.

Japanese, b. 1967, Saitama, Japan, based in New York, NY; Tokyo, Japan