RAM Paper Laboratory| The Past Glories of Paper
Jan 16, 2021 Saturday 14:00 - 16:00
RAM Station (No.185 Yuanmingyuan Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, 1F Lyceum Building)
During the long course of history, human beings had constantly searching for something that could be written on. Only the Chinese people made it and invented “paper”. Low in cost and stable in production made it suitable for mass production in different places. Thin but durable, paper presented itself as an ideal medium to convey information. With the introduction of papermaking technology to the rest parts of Asia, Europe and Arica, the popularization of paper greatly promoted the development of human civilization. For instance, with the use of paper, magnum opuses and continuous mathematical operations became possible, significantly improving the thinking capacity of human beings. And the emergence of paper notes, letter paper and books made a profound change on cultural changes. In China, the birthplace of paper, potential of paper had been explored even further. It was used as some kind of textile to make clothes, bedding, bed curtain and door curtain. In today’s digital era, let’s take some time and look back upon the past glories of paper, to gain an insight into the various paper products that had been made in the past and witness the unique charisma of this unique medium.
Meng Hui is a freelance writer born in the 1960s in a Daur family. She once studied at the Department of Art History in Central Academy of Fine Art and worked for Beijing Art Museum, SDX Joint Publishing Company and the journal Reading. She wrote History of Women’s Clothing in China’s Central Plains Region, A Story Told on Ghost Day, The Hairstyle of Pan Jinlian, Stories about Incense, Women’s Life in Sixteen Poetic Images, Empresses’ Cosmetics, A Bite of the Nature, Golden Skin and Spring of Flowers and translated A Closer Look at Antiques, I Am Not the Murder and Wars and Cinema.
During the long course of human civilization, paper has always been considered of paramount importance. It is almost ubiquitous in our life in a variety of forms: books, letters, paintings, food packaging and greeting cards, etc. More than a medium to contain information, paper is also deemed as a material that inspires emotions. Thin as a piece of paper is, it gives out a unique sense of subtlety and delicacy which could be perceived when we touch, flip, observe and smell it. Such is the charisma of paper. However, the rise of digital technologies has made a profound change on how people communicate and share information. When is the last time we read a paper book or send a paper greeting card? Moreover, the outbreak of the pandemic has further deepened our dependence on a lifestyle heavily online. People are asked to avoid physical contact and most of the communication nowadays is conducted digitally. As we are now trying to gain our normal life back, we hope that through the medium of “paper” we could inspire people to reconsider the relationship between man and the world, and to encourage people to communicate, express and make their voice heard. The Paper Laboratory series includes one lecture, one conversation and three workshops. Stay tuned!
Free admission, reservation is required.