Hongtao Zhou
Paper Conection
Paper Pulp Sculpture connects hand craft and modern design

Paper, one of the four great inventions of ancient China, has played a significant role in human history. However, with the rapid development of digital technology, the paper industry and paper handcraft mills are facing enormous challenges. Many have closed due to the failing demand in the past decades. As an organic material, hand crafted paper has beautiful fiber and identical craft of making. This paper sculpture series is created to challenge the technical boundary of paper craft for durability, rich texture and paper structure. The project created an innovative flexible mold to shape high-fiber paper, generating completely hollow paper structures (no supporting structure) yet semi transparent, showcasing the unique beauty of fiber through lighting. When a group of hollow paper structures gathered together in a gallery ceiling, they form solid paper structures. They are light, transparent, durable and rich in texture. The flexible paper structure molding system also inspired miniature sculpture “jumping out of page” and lighting designs “coral”. As a new interpretation of the traditional Chinese papermaking culture, this project is currently installed at The Cultural Complex Longgang District of Shenzhen by Mecanoo, hopping to extend the ancient paper making culture by public education, expecting to regenerate dialogue between this old tradition and modern industry of art and design.

Team: Hongtao Zhou, Xiaotong Zhang, Jiaobao Zhu, Tina Qi, Kewei Feng
HongtaoZhou Studio
Making Lab, Innovation Field, College of Design and Innovation (D&I), Tongji University
Photo: Yige Zhang, Yao Jiang