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New Expressions in Japanese PaperWASHI TRANSFORMED 2WASHI TRANSFORMED Takaaki Tanaka, First Gate, 2015, Kozo mulberry fiber paper, flax, Courtesy of the artist3NEW EXPRESSIONS IN JAPANESE PAPERnique for its strong natural fibers and its painstaking production techniques, which have been passed down from one generation to the next, washi stands out as a nexus of tradition and innovation. Its continuing, and ever-evolving, importance as an artistic medium is due primarily to the ingenuity of Japanese contemporary artists, who have pushed washi beyond its historic uses to create highly textured two-dimensional works, expressive sculptures, and dramatic installations. Washi, which translates to “Japanese paper,” has been integral to Japanese culture for over a thousand years, and the strength, translucency, and malleability of this one-of-a-kind paper have made it extraordinarily versatile as well as ubiquitous. Historically, washi has been used as a base for Japanese calligraphy, painting...