What is the process of folding? And who is the folder, anyway?
As an origami practitioner, I asked myself:
I attempted to answer these question through my first-ever origami performance piece that debuted at the Make It Share It Open Stage.
(Photos: Beverly Yuan)
Check out the other amazing art pieces in the Jaffa Museum's abums below! Vincent Floderer's haunting "sea creatures" fashioned out of crumpled paper are some of my favourites.
Origami? Folding bits of paper? You mean that children's pastime? It can't possibly be of any "real" use, right?
What if I told you that origami has been applied in space technology?
The 6th International Meeting on Origami in Science, Mathematics and Education (6OSME) was held in Tokyo University in August to help origami researchers, artists and educators share their ideas on the connections between origami and a wide range of other fields, including applications in theory and industry.
Grab a milk or juice carton and there's a fair chance you'd find that it's from Tetra Pak, a Swedish company that focuses on food packaging and processing solutions. A few months ago Tetra Pak invited ten people from around the world to a package design workshop aimed at brainstorming an improved design to one of their commercial packages. I qualified through their "Can You Fold It?" competition, in which contestants had to dream up a simple but creative way to close the end of a cardboard tube—which is basically what package manufacturers have to do.
Image from "Can You Fold It?" qualification phase
Tetra Pak's pioneering product was the Tetra Classic®, but probably more familiar is the Tetra Rex®.
Next week I'm conducting an origami math workshop for Grade 8 students, and one of the activities will be to fold a skeletal octahedron (really simple modular origami). The students will be asked to choose between five octahedra I already folded in various colors, to see what kind of color schemes and arrangements appeal to them. We can then discuss about symmetry, graph coloring and more.
It would also be interesting to see which color schemes people like, even before the workshop, so here goes!
Color Schemes 1—5 (from left)
These days I hardly fold any origami, but when I do, it's usually from either of the books Origami Art or Advanced Origami, both by Michael G. Lafosse & Richard L. Alexander from their Origamido Studio. Their designs have this elegance and beauty that attract me, and leaves me satisfied when I am able to reproduce part of that beauty with my own hands.
So when I offered to fold a present for a friend, I asked him to choose from those books. He picked their Humpback Whale.
Elephanthide paper, wet-folded
I designed this for a friend I met at an exchange programme to Qingdao because of his interest in math.
This model is mainly a tube with sealed ends. The following series of folding instructions will make this apparent:
I improvised this design in class using an envelope that was lying around.
I liked being able to use the flap of the envelope as part of the nun's gown - so I was using the envelope "fully" and not simply as a rectangular sheet of paper!
Thinking back, I was probably inspired by Vietnamese origami master Giang Dinh's evocative abstract human figures:
You must check out his achingly beautiful origami faces, animals and figures. I saw his gorgeous work in a book of photographs from an origami exhibition, titled Masters of Origami: At Hanger-7.
One of my earliest designs, born from a brainwave on creating hexagonal cells from a square grid:
One uncut square, designed in 2007.
This design was a result of experimentation with bases.
One uncut square, designed in 2007.