Collages constructed with paper and cardboard by Cre888s of Cloudster on the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
Collage is a technique used in art, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different materials. The techniques of collage coincided with the invention of paper in China, around 200 BC. The use of collage, however, wasn't used by many people until the 10th century in Japan, when Japanese calligraphers glued paper with text on the paper that held their poetry. In Europe, collage first appeared in during the 13th century, primarily as a form of decoration in the religious community.
The term collage was coined by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century when they began using collage in their paintings. To put this in perspective, up to and including the Impressionists, the principle role of 'art' (painting) was to represent 'reality', that is, what you could see. One of the impressionists, Paul Cezanne, became disenchanted with the impressionist philosophy, and began to focus on building 'structure' into his work, in effect focusing on the composition, and the painting itself, rather than what the painting represented. Cezanne's work caught the attention of many other artists, and at the same time photography was developing rapidly, and would quickly assume the role of capturing 'reality'. As Picasso, Braque, Matisse and many others began experimenting with the freedom provided by Cezanne's work, it was only natural painters would start using collage to expand the boundaries of painting. Cezanne's work represents the beginning of contemporary art, and collage became a distinctive part of modern art.