Orchids on Air Mokuhanga Kites

About the Exhibit

There are a number of common themes in the kite world: birds, insects, human forms, fish, and aircraft, but plants and flowers are another common theme that reaches deep into kite lore. The first kites on earth may well have been dried leaves flown to help island peoples catch elusive fish. Today, the kites of Malaysia are opulently decorated with vines, leaves, and flowers, all meticulously executed with cut paper and foil. Chinese kites often depict vegetables, flowers, fruit, or tree leaves. Contemporary kite enthusiasts from the Netherlands proudly fly tulip-shaped or decorated kites at festivals worldwide. Chris Yuengling-Niles has continued the tradition with her Orchid Series, which I (Scott Skinner) have faithfully framed into kites. The kites are delicate, colorful, and fully intended to be flown. As airborne art, they display the grace of real orchids, as they unexpectedly appear in airborne environments. Chris’s ambitious and beautiful prints come alive in a new environment, far above gallery walls, where wind and light and kite all interact.

Scott Skinner
Board President
Drachen Foundation

A former Air Force instructor pilot, Drachen’s board president has fl own and designed kites for three decades. Skinner’s military training created the structure for him to express himself as a visionary kite artist.

About the Artist

Chris Yuengling-Niles, a graphic designer, is the Print Studio Manager at TBWA\Chiat\Day, partner in Positive Image Film and Video, and a fine artist. She earned a BFA degree from Rhode Island School of Design and an MAT degree from Rhode Island College. Post graduate studies have covered all aspects of the book arts; bookmaking, calligraphy, typography, and print making. An affinity for drawing has impelled her to compile 35 years of sketches from the natural world that are being translated into a variety of media. An edition of The Song of Songs was published in 2000 with her floral illustrations. Most recently an association with Drachen Foundation has challenged her perceptions and involved her in the world of kites, or art aloft, and Mokuhanga. Her work has been shown in Los Angeles (Hiromi Paper International), in Seattle, Washington (Cullom Gallery), Japan (Kyoto International Woodprint Association) and Washington, D.C. (The U.S. Botanic Garden).

Images (click to open in viewer):
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