James R Ford

Duchamp Played Chess; I Made Cranes

Charlotte Road   |   Solo Exhibition   |   17.04.08 – 10.05.08

A Thousand Cranes (detail)
James R Ford, 2007-2008
1,000 hand-folded Origami cranes, bespoke wooden framework
172 x 225 x 172 cm
A Thousand Cranes
James R Ford, 2007-2008
1,000 hand-folded Origami cranes, bespoke wooden framework
172 x 225 x 172 cm
A Thousand Cranes
James R Ford, 2007-2008
1,000 hand-folded Origami cranes, bespoke wooden framework
172 x 225 x 172 cm
A Thousand Cranes (detail)
James R Ford, 2007-2008
1,000 hand-folded Origami cranes, bespoke wooden framework
172 x 225 x 172 cm
Golden Blossom
James R Ford, 2008
Lambda print, acrylic paint
180 x 180 cm
Golden Blossom (detail)
James R Ford, 2008
Lambda print, acrylic paint
180 x 180 cm
Blossom (Green with flowers and rainbow clouds)
James R Ford, 2008
Lambda print, acrylic paint
120 x 120 cm
Crane (Yellow with flowers and leaves)
James R Ford, 2008
Gouache and ink pen on paper
29 x 29 cm
Crane (Blue with flowers and leaves)
James R Ford, 2008
Gouache and ink pen on paper
29 x 38 cm
Crane (Green with white flowers)
James R Ford, 2008
Gouache on paper
29 x 29 cm

FERREIRA PROJECTS is proud to present the first solo exhibition in London of James R Ford – Duchamp Played Chess; I Made Cranes. Ford’s new body of work emerges from his fascination with the ancient Japanese practice of Origami and begins to illustrate how Eastern Art has become Westernised.

Like Marcel Duchamp, who in 1923 declared that he was no longer a practising artist and instead both played and studied chess for the rest of his life to the near exclusion of all other activity, so Ford became disillusioned with his art practice and decided to dedicate his time to making Origami Cranes instead of creating any new work. He became obsessed by the paper folding process and intrigued by this ancient art. Origami Cranes have great significance in Japan – the giving of a folded crane to someone is to wish them a safe journey home, and legend has it that if a person makes a thousand cranes they will be granted a wish by the Japanese Gods. Hoping to have his own wish granted, Ford began folding cranes in earnest and, at the same time, made studies of these folded objects and patterned papers. Much like Duchamp who claimed to have abandoned art for playing chess, but secretly worked on his last major piece Étant donnés for 20 years, so was Ford, unbeknownst to himself, developing a new body of work.

By giving in to his obsession with Origami, Ford folded 1,000 cranes using a variety of coloured and patterned papers, which will be displayed as a large installation. His adjacent studies take the form of watercolour and gouache paintings. In a cyclical way he turned his studies into patterns, created his own paper designs and used these to fold more cranes. Ford has also created a digital animation of infinitely spinning rainbow cranes and large intricate hand finished pattern prints, inspired by the numerous Origami papers used, which references the more contemporary Japanese culture.