Paper Weavings, Recompositions by Juri Akiyama

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When I was a freshman at university, my roommate Wes introduced me to the musician Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox of Animal Collective). The first album I heard was Person Pitch, which primarily uses samples as the instruments. In the first song, “Comfy in Nautica,” he took a one-second snippet from a Hans Zimmer song used in the film The Thin Red Line and repeated it. That small piece, taken from something larger, provides the entire base for the music, and it is unrecognizable from its original context (unless someone points it out).

From then on, I’ve been fascinated by the concept of sampling, both musically and in the visual arts. Taking existing art out of its context and deliberately manipulating it into a different application or medium creates artistic opportunities that aren’t available with a blank canvas. The artwork created from artwork is new, but it’s also simultaneously a means of seeing the original artwork in a way that was previously not possible.

Juri Akiyama is a RISD student who works with “paper weavings.” These artworks are her uses of sampling. In some cases, she cuts up an image and rearranges it; in another case, she may take two paintings and weave snippets of both of them into one new image; and she even goes a step further, by creating paintings of the paper weavings that are comprised of pieces of paintings. This method allows for endless layers of what she calls “decomposition and recomposition.”

>> See more of Juri Akiyama’s work at


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