Through the exhibit, Shlian explores how fine art, design, math and science relate to each other. Shlian allows his work to evolve on its own by beginning with an initial fold—a single action that then causes a transfer of energy to subsequent folds—that ultimately manifest in his drawings and three-dimensional forms.
Shlian also uses his engineering skills to create kinetic sculpture, collaborating with scientists at the University of Michigan. While researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scientific principles, he sees their inquiry as a basis for artistic inspiration, according to Shlian.
Matthew Shlian is an artist/designer and founder of the Initiative Artist Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His work extends from drawings to large scale installations to collaborations with leading scientists at the University of Michigan. His work for the National Science Foundation explores paper folding structures on the macro level translated to the nano-scale. His client list includes Ghostly International, Apple, P&G, Facebook, Leviís, Sesame Street and the Queen of Jordan. His work can be seen at www.mattshlian.com and eightemperors.com
As a paper engineer my work is rooted in print media, book arts and commercial design. Beginning with an initial fold, a single action causes a transfer of energy to subsequent folds, which ultimately manifest in drawings and three dimensional forms. I use my engineering skills to create kinetic sculpture which have lead to collaborations with scientists at the University of Michigan. Researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scientific principals; I see their inquiry as basis for artistic inspiration. In my studio I am a collaborator, explorer and inventor. I begin with a system of folding and at a particular moment the material takes over. Guided by wonder, my work is made because I cannot visualize its final realization; in this way I come to understanding through curiosity.
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.