A blank piece of paper lends itself to so much. It emanates from it that sentiment of something clamoring for visibility, a design demanding to be drawn, a thought expecting release. It calls for a unique viewpoint of creation - that all an artist sees and feels, will go into and come out of this blank piece of paper. Such is the mystique and passion of Origami; a Japanese art form that calls for the folding of paper into creative and magical sculptures. Passed down through eons of history, the term ‘ori’ meaning folding and ‘kami’ meaning paper, has come to encompass any and all folding practices irrespective from where they originated.

Over the past decade, Origami in India has been experiencing a reawakening. Many are coming together to create nouveau and stunning works of art. From hobbyists to professionals to teachers of Origami, people have gathered in their various spaces with their fresh ideas, blank papers and complex notions to give their own spin of modernity toward this conventional custom. The cohesive factor is their unbridled appetite to breathe life into a piece of paper by bending it in a particular way, thus uncovering an exquisite treasure.

The simplicity and beauty of Origami is that there are no external tools like scissors or glue or writing instruments. The skillset required is a creative mind, blank paper, deft hands and a desire to create. One can bring all of this to the worktable and finally turn the lights out on a masterpiece that carries all of an artist’s vision, hard work and aspiration.

Its very minimalism is what makes Origami an everyday art. It doesn’t just find its uses in hobby classes and at art galleries or art showings. Kids are fascinated with the idea of making something special for their parents and friends that will take pride of place on a shelf rather than a card that will be taken down from the fridge by next week. Students from various fields have found many a project come to life with a touch of Origami. Scale models, college projects, live, physical presentations and more have found purpose with Origami models. With so many e-commerce portals and even local eclectic pop up bazaars that allow people to sell their creations, Origami artists have found an entire marketplace for their work. Students, homemakers and hobbyists are even learning Origami just so they can teach the art to others, be it as a pass time or even a way to make some extra pocket money. Quite a few have gone on to become professionals of the form and showcase and sell their work at galleries or even in art, curio or gift shops and even as corporate or personalized gifts. While Origami definitely isn’t a commonplace thing, it has definitely folded its way into many hearts and onto many tables.

Many Origami artists exude a certain zest for life that makes its way into their works. While some get commissioned to make particular pieces, it is their personal touch that goes into each work. Every artist’s outlook imprints itself on each design and makes it come alive. Origami allows for both, arrangement and enactment and lends itself to a performance platform. An Origami artist can compose and then execute their masterpiece, making it seem more like a live demonstrative expression than just the creation of artwork. It is a rare and unique art and it is no wonder that so many are captivated by it.

Someone once said, creativity is always a leap of faith. You're faced with a blank page. And then you jump. Headlong into crafting something out of nothing. That is the ardent art that is Origami. The folding of your ideas into something intricate, something bold, something so very you!

 

Ayesha Dominica

Ayesha Dominica , An independent freelance writer, she has been published regularly since the age of 13 in community magazines and newsletters, including an international social justice magazine ‘The Axe’. Her 6 years at the Express Group saw her work published in most of the group’s newspapers and syndicated across a number of languages.


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