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Exhibition of folded paper sculptures by staff, students, faculty, and alumni of MIT opens
Brian Chan, Longhorned Bettle, 2011. Paper. Courtesy of the artist.
BROCKTON, MA.- Fuller Craft Museum, New England’s home for contemporary craft, presents Mens et Manus on display February 4, 2012 – April 29, 2012.

Mens et Manus is an exhibition of complex folded paper sculptures by staff, students, faculty, and alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Techonology.

Latin for “mind and hand,” the MIT motto mens et manus is meant to exemplify the relationship between the work of the intellect and the work of the hand. This holistic approach uniting hand and mind emerges in a community of paper folders that has garnered a reputation for new, innovative, and extreme patterns.

Paper folding—or origami as it is also popularly known—is the practice of transforming paper into complex representational and abstract three-dimensional sculpture through a series of complex folds. Typically artists will use only one sheet of square paper and avoid any cuts or adhesive, a challenging yet relatively recent restriction. The more complicated patterns, small as the finished piece may be, can begin with enormous sheets of paper, include hundreds of folds, and require days to complete. The sequence and location of folds on the single sheet of paper, called a crease pattern, is a complex geometric relationship reserving areas of paper for the constituent parts of a representational sculpture.

This exhibit draws a connection between origami, a folk art with roots in the 17th century and contemporary complex mathematical inquiry. Abstract or geometric expressions in paper folding may be used to explore mathematical questions or problems, and often result in new patterns, new forms, and new ideas. For these artists, folded paper serves as the nexus between mathematical and aesthetic inquiry, uniting mind and hand.





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