Ribbonesia is the amazing art of Baku Maeda and Toru Yoshikawa. As the team’s name suggests, it creates breathtaking ribbon art that showcases the beauty yet simplicity of the everyday material.
Maeda does the hands-on craftsmanship while Yoshikawa comes up with the concepts and themes. Ribbonesia’s output often consists of animals but what a vibrant menagerie it is, from birds to pandas, seals and insects.
Although ribbon is a more familiar material to wrap and decorate with, it is not the necessarily an everyday material — familiar yet unessential. Ribbon also has an affinity with fine art and art making, and this aids making art works with ribbon.
Just as an artist would use hundreds of brush strokes, ribbon forms can also be made from a variety of twists, bends and folds. Art works will sometimes be very simple and understated like origami, or tangled and very complicated. They become paintings as much as they are sculptures. Ribbonesia focuses on natural shapes because we see an essential beauty in every regularity and complexity within the natural world, its necessity, and how it functions as a whole.
Normally beauty appears in nature as the result of natural habitats being reborn over and over again. Ribbon forms are also the result of elastic and tensile forces working with each other. This unexpected beauty is almost a property of the gods. Ribbonesia experiences this encounter between beauty and a universal nature, out into the cosmos, and beyond.
Ribbonesia has been around since 2010 and even published a book back in 2011. It now has a new exhibition, “Murmur”, at the gallery Place by method in Shibuya from June 9th to July 8th. The exhibition showcases new animals, plants, insects and creatures made from beguiling arrangements of colorful ribbon.
Artist and illustrator Maeda lives out in Hokkaido and his other projects include Ice Glasses, which are as chilly as they sound, and Leaf Beast, turning dried leaves into — yes, you guessed it — animals.