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Friday, July 28, 2017 at 11:00am to 5:00pm

PLACE 735 NW 18th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Exhibit, talk and workshops by Nancy Yen-wen Cheng

June 21 – July 28, 2017  Open M-F 11-5
PLACE, 735 NW 18th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 tel 503 334 2080

How much visual expression can come from a single sheet of material?  Exhibit pieces explore how surfaces can be manipulated to bounce light in interesting ways.  They show how simple cuts and folds can create complex patterns of flaps or pockets to catch light.  For example, a family of geometric patterns incorporate self-clasping hooks have been designed to pull flexible sheets into saddle forms that juxtapose convex and concave edges.  Recent efforts with draped and stretched fabric are motivated by the idea of shaping form and space with minimal means.   

The fabric pieces have been created with Marziah Rajabzadeh and Mohsen Marizad of ZAAD Studio, who excel in parametric design and digital visualization.  Methods to shape light with folded surfaces were developed through teaching in Australia, Germany, China and the U.S.  Exhibit support has come from PLACE, Francisco Toledo and Bonnie Jean Dominguez.

The public is invited to three events. 

Wed July 21, 6:00-9:00pm -  Opening Reception with 7:00pm talk by Nancy Cheng

Learn about the origins of the sculptural studies, the use of digital design and fabrication, and related research into airflow around architectural shading screens.

WORKSHOPS:  We will bring the materials, techniques and images of some forms to try.  We need you to bring your enthusiasm, imagination and openness to new possibilities.  We will capture the experiments with photos and create results for the PLACE community to enjoy. 

Saturday, July 8, 12:00-3:00pm -  Shaping Light with Folded Surfaces workshop

Experiment with light and shadow effects by manipulating surfaces and material properties.  Learn how curved cuts, folds and clasps can sculpt sheet materials to produce aesthetic forms.  Examine how lighting can transform appearances when capturing photos of work in progress.

Saturday, July 29, 12:00-3:00pm -  Shaping Space with Fabric workshop

Stretch fabrics and dynamically create spaces.  What is the most interesting place that can be sculpted with the least material?  The group will create tent-like configurations by using bodies, rods and hoops to pull sheet materials into temporary formations. 

For more information see  or contact Nancy Cheng at





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