‘Recycling: Washi Tales’ at LACMA

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A scene from a work-in-progress presentation of “Recycling: Washi Tales” at New York Theatre Workshop last March. (Photo by Isaac Bloom)

“Recycling: Washi Tales,” a conversation and peformance, will take place on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

The performance brings to life the human stories contained in sheets of handmade Japanese paper (washi). In Japan, authentic beauty is found in the old, and washi is made when existing paper is disassembled, beaten into pulp, and stretched anew on bamboo frames.

This evening event at LACMA’s Bing Theater begins at with a conversation between distinguished paper artist Kyoko Ibe and Curator of Japanese Art Hollis Goodall, followed by the performance at 8 p.m.

In “Recycling: Washi Tales,” a papermaker cradles old documents in her hands. As she creates new, undulating sheets onstage from these records of history, four narratives emerge: life in a 19th-century village, a tragic betrayal for a young wife, the austere elegance of the tea ceremony, and a loss transformed into everlasting life.

An extraordinary ensemble of artists, including 15th-generation noh drummer Shonosuke Okura, biwa player Shisui Arai, vocalist Makiko Sakurai, performer Karen Kandel, and actor Sonoko Soeda, will gather in a world created by Ibe.

This event is held in conjunction with the installation “Washi Tales: The Paper Art of Ibe Kyoko,” on view through Nov. 28.

Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 for LACMA members, seniors 65 and over, and students with ID. For reservations, call (323) 857–6010 or purchase online at www.lacma.org.

Ticket price includes admission to the conversation and performance as well as the installation. Attendees must arrive early to view the installation as galleries will be closed after the event.

On the Web: www.washitales.com

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