Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
This photo shows an origami work, "Cierbol" by Victor Coeurjoly of Spain, included in the exhibit, “Surface to Structure: Folded Forms,” on view at Cooper Union, from June 19, 2014 to July 3, in New York. The show features over 130 works of origami from 88 artists and reveals the pinnacles of paper folding. (AP Photo/Christopher Bierlein)
Origami: Exhibit shows an art form unfolding
First Published Jul 01 2014 10:45 am • Last Updated Jul 01 2014 10:44 am

New York • An origami exhibit at Cooper Union college that features the work of 88 artists from around the world reveals the outer limits of paper folding and its breathtaking range of possibilities.

Timed to mark the 55th anniversary of a pioneering origami exhibit in the United States, also shown at Cooper Union, "Surface to Structure" illustrates just how far the art form has come.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Showstoppers include undulating, robotic origami triggered by wall-mounted motion sensors; large, modular, pleated panels and sculptures; clothing; folded sculptures in stainless steel and cast-bronze; and even two polymer-gel micro-origami figures, less than a millimeter in size and displayed using a photographic technique that allows a 3-D shape to be reconstructed from a series of 2-D fluorescent images.

Many of the works in the show are representations of animals, but contemporary techniques allow for detail and texture unheard of decades ago.

While traditional origami entails folding and then unfolding to see the crease on the page, many of these works use mathematical algorithms and computer-aided designs to create complex crease patterns first. The folds come later.

Other works feature a technique called wet-folding: wiping the paper with a wet sponge or cloth before folding. The moisture loosens the paper fibers, allowing for smooth curves instead of the more traditional sharp creases.

"The curves are a lot softer and the creases actually stronger with wet-folding," explained Uyen Nguyen, 22, who curated the show and made one of the works featured.

Wet-folding allows for the voluptuous curves of a lion’s shaggy mane or the billows surrounding a unicorn that appears to be standing in the wind, and also works of elegant simplicity like "Dreamer," by Vietnamese-American artist Giang Dinh, or "Lying Woman," by Vietnamese artist Nguyen Tu Tuan.

Other pieces feature an improvisational technique using crumpled tissue paper. Known as "le crimp," it allows for a rich and detailed texture, exemplified by the work "Cierbol," by Spanish artist Victor Couerjoly of Spain. The figure of a deer whose neck gives way to gnarled tree branches instead of an antlered head is roughly textured and made from dark brown paper; the result is virtually indistinguishable from tree bark.

"It’s totally different from traditional origami techniques, which are all about deliberate precision," Nguyen said.


story continues below
story continues below

The fashion submissions, however, were the ones that surprised her most. "I hadn’t even expected to include a fashion section, but it ended up being an important part of it," she said.

Included are several origami dresses and hats, a delicately folded parasol, two handbags, jewelry, and even an ornate, fingerless glove made of laser-cut, tessellated snakeskin by American artist Adrienne Sack. Tessellation, an origami technique developed in the 1970s, consists of a large sheet of paper folded to construct a relative flat geometric pattern. Only recently has origami tessellation been taken to a more three-dimensional level.

In the show’s science section, one wall features a work entitled "Oribotics (The Future Unfolds)," by Austrian artist Matthew Gardiner. The undulating robotic origami flowers open and close only when a viewer comes near.

"The techniques of origami are continually advancing," said Nguyen.

Although she made paper cranes and other typical origami shapes as a child, her hobby started in earnest after she was given a book on sophisticated origami patterns soon after starting college at Cooper Union. She launched an origami club, whose members began making modular structures consisting of interlocking segments. "Then I went to a big origami convention and it became a serious passion," she said.

For this exhibit, which runs through Thursday (July 3), she and her colleagues contacted origami clubs around the world in search of submissions. The show is evenly divided between more established origami artists like Robert J. Lang (of the polymer-gel, micro-origami team) and younger artists, including 13-year-old Sejin Park of Korea, who contributed a black dragon.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.