New Feature Exhibition in March February 12 2019

Akiko Sugiyama
Paper Play

On Exhibit: March 2 - 30, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 2, 4-7 PM
Artists Talk: Friday, March 15, 11 AM


For her inaugural solo exhibition at Arts on Douglas, Akiko Sugiyama presents a selection of sculptural paper based mixed-media constructions that incorporate a range of techniques and themes.  
Born in Northern Japan, Akiko majored in painting at Joshibi University of Art and Design in Tokyo before moving to Florida in 1974. Sugiyama explains that her work blends Eastern and Western influences, stating, “The Japanese influence on my work is unavoidable since it was the culture in which I was born and raised. My work incorporates my early influences, particularly Japanese children’s tales I heard in my youth while also referencing present-day experiences in the United States.”  

Akiko’s initial progression towards working with paper was sparked by a simple observation: after crumbling up a failed drawing, Akiko noticed the subtle beauty of its texture as it was illuminated in the sunlight.  This accidental discovery triggered an innate desire to further explore the sculptural applications of paper, which is now the primary medium in which she works.
To create her work, Sugiyama folds, rolls, twists, cuts, paints, texturizes, sews, wraps and spins a range of papers, often incorporating these paper forms with found objects, such as branches and other materials.  Each piece has its own distinguishing qualities, from the subtle, delicate play between organic and geometric forms that can be seen in Exuberant Blooms to the playful and bright graphic forms inherent to Seed Pods/She and He. While her process is intricate, the finished pieces often possess a profound simplicity. 

As the exhibition title suggests, Akiko explains that having fun playing with paper is at the core of what she does.  She states, “I take great delight in the character of different papers and enjoy the possibilities I can explore in the interplay between the real and the imagined.”  


Akiko Sugiyama has shown her work at universities, museums and galleries throughout the United States at venues including the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, FL; the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, FL; the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH; and Chase Edwards Contemporary Fine Art in Bridgehampton, NY, amongst others.  She has also received top awards from shows such as the Smithsonian Craft Show, American Craft Expo, Washington Craft Show and Palm Beach Fine Craft Show.  

Akiko has taught children workshops at the Deland Museum of Art (now Museum of Art Deland) and instructed adults in Sumi-e ink drawing.