I was never known for visual arts. But not for lack of trying. I’m good with colors, just not with composition. Remember that kid you went to school with who managed to botch stick figure drawings when you can work landscapes with your pastels? That’s me. I managed to make insect-people out of the requisite “My Family” drawings when the teacher forced me to make personalized Christmas cards. And my parents were really nice about it. I could hardly discern the mocking and scorn. Just joking–they just laugh-smiled at my work. But what I learned eventually is if I can’t work with paints, watercolors or crayons, what’s stopping me from working with the canvas? Or in my case, paper.
I got into origami when I was in second grade, when I loafed around in the school library looking for books with big colorful pictures. I found a thin book in origami which was part of an entire set available in the library. I can’t remember the first figure I ever folded, but I do remember borrowing the book and taking it home with me, and the fascination I felt the first time I realized the possibilities a piece of paper can have. Soon after, I was borrowing all the books in the set, one by one. As far as I was concerned then, origami was just another Japanese sounding word, and that making animals out of a square piece of paper was fun. But since then, I have moved on to more complex figures other than flowers and birds, and even taking up the hobby of collecting origami paper.
For those of you not acquainted with origami, Wikipedia defines it as
Origami (折り紙?, from ori meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper”) is the traditional Japanese folk art of paper folding, which started in the 17th century AD and was popularized in the mid-1900s. It has since then evolved into a modern art form. The goal of this art is to transform a flat sheet of material into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques, and as such the use of cuts or glue are not considered to be origami.
But there is so much more to origami than just this basic definition. My personal goal is not only for people to know what it is, but also to promote the appreciation for it. But since this is simply my introduction to this wonderful art form, this will do for now. I will be posting an entire series on origami in the next few months, so watch out for them.