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Stories of Paper

20 April – 24 July 2022

Lighter than clay or bamboo and less expensive than silk or parchment, paper is one of humanity’s humblest but most profound inventions. From the first century to the present and from ancient Asia to Europe and contemporary Arabia, Stories of Paper examines the rich artistic legacy of this fragile material that not only became indispensable for record keeping and trade but has proved essential to cultural interaction and intellectual exchange for two millennia.

Created in partnership with the Musée du Louvre and in collaboration with France-Muséums as well as several leading international institutions and private collections, Stories of Paper explores the special material’s qualities: uniquely suited to recording, remembering and re-production, paper manages to be simultaneously fragile and malleable, light-sensitive and resilient.

Featuring more than 100 objects, Stories of Paper includes Katsushika Hokusai’s renowned Kanagawa-oki Nami Ura (The Great Wave off Kanagawa), The Labyrinth, a colossal maze made from sinuous ribbons of corrugated cardboard by the Italian conceptual artist Michelan-gelo Pistoletto, traditional paper clothing and a reconstruction of a room from a Korean paper house, masterworks by Antonio Pisanello and Pablo Picasso, alongside paper-based artworks by Hassan Sharif, Abdullah Al Saadi and Mohammed Kazem, pioneers of Emirati conceptual art.

Visit today and learn how, even as digital technologies threaten to make paper obsolescent, this most universal of media continues to occupy an essential place in contemporary creativity, enquiry, and self-expression.

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Under the Wave off Kanagawa. Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849), c. 1830 – 1832, Japan, ink and colour on paper. Louvre Abu Dhabi (LAD 2020.91) © Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. Photo: Ismail Noor / Seeing Things

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