The Paper Poetry exhibition, as noted by the curator of the exhibition A. Papatzanaki, presents the excellent work of two female visual artists, Marigos Kassi and Xin Song, who have a deep relationship with paper, who use it as a means of expression.           

Despite their different origins and artistic backgrounds, both create their works with a time-consuming process that requires special skill.   

The exhibition features an installation and a series of wall works by each artist.                 

Their delicate and ethereal works are in dialogue with each other, while simultaneously interacting with the solidity of the historic stone building in which they are presented.

The building, known as the “Great Arsenal”, began construction in 1585 by the Venetian Seer Alvise Grimani and was completed in 1600. The front part of the building, where the exhibition takes place, functioned as a youth hall, while the back part served as an armoury. In 1872, the dome of the youth hall was demolished, following the mediation of the Turkish Governor of Crete Reuf Pasha, in order to build the first floor to house the School of the Christian Community of the city. The building hosted several important public functions. From 1892 it housed theater performances in its great hall, from 1923 it was used as a public hospital and later as a Town Hall from 1928 to 1941. During World War II, the building was bombed by the Germans and remained without a roof for several years. It was restored in 1997-2002 and today, it functions as the Center for Mediterranean Architecture, hosting important cultural events, art exhibitions and international events.

The historicity of the building led to the selection of Marigos Kassi’s installation Presences – Absences, which is focused on exploring the concepts of memory, loss, presence and absence. The installation includes many small paper garments hanging from the ceiling, forming a world of unique, our own people, past and present. Using transparency, levitation, and beautiful handmade Japanese papers, Kassi creates a magical and immersive environment for viewers to explore. In addition to the installation, Marigo Cassis also presents a series of wall-mounted works that are realized through a painstaking, meticulous process. She creates her material, which initially becomes the substrate and eventually evolves into the final surface of the work. Using handmade paper, the artist waxes, tears, threads and colors the paper to create unique works of art.

Xin Song’s works also use paper but with a different technical approach. Influenced by traditional Chinese paper-cutting, which she learned from farmers at a young age, Xin Song uses her own photographs, magazine images and various papers to create large site-specific installations. Her subjects range from abstract floral motifs to urban scenes that reflect her experiences living in New York. For this exhibition, inspired by the original use of the building and its proximity to water, I have chosen a series of collages by Xin Song entitled Wave inspired by water and waves, crafted by pasting different types of paper, which they have been cut by hand. Furthermore, her black-and-white installation, titled “Message from Nature – Fog Forest” evokes a foggy paper-cut forest, creating an atmosphere that serves as a poignant reminder of the dire consequences of mindless logging, pollution, and global warming. .

The Paper Poetry exhibition brings into dialogue the unique works of these two talented visual artists, highlighting the diverse possibilities of creating with paper as a medium of artistic expression.

Their installations and works create a sensitive and intimate environment that invites viewers to reflect on the complex ideas and concepts they explore through their art.


Curator of the exhibition: Antonia Papatzanaki

Catalog text: Dr. Sozita Guduna

Production: Municipality of Chania, KEPPEDIX KAM


Exhibition duration: July 1 to July 29, 2023

Great Arsenal – Center of Mediterranean Architecture

Union Beach & Georgiou Katehaki Square, 73132 Chania

KAM opening hours:

Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00-14:00 and 19:00-22:00

Sunday: 19:00-22:00

Closed on Monday

Free entrance

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