Robert Lang: Modern Origami

A very interesting TED Talk about modern origami and how it is being used to create not only beautiful sculptures but to solve technological problems ranging from consumer products to the space program.

Robert Lang merges mathematics with aesthetics to fold elegant modern origami. His scientific approach helps him make folds once thought impossible — and has secured his place as one of the first great Western masters of the art.

For more information about Robert Lang visit

Akira Yoshizawa: Origami

Origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, stems from the Japanese verb oru  (to fold), and the noun kami (paper). Thought to have originated in the 6th century, origami artists make geometric folds and crease patterns to create representations of objects and animals.  Most Origami is created with Japanese washi, a strong paper,  preferably without gluing or cutting, and using only one piece of paper.

While Japan is recognized as the country that most fully developed the traditional art of origami, paper folding also took place independently in Spain,  Germany and other countries.

Considered to be the master, Akira Yoshizawa is credited with elevating origami into a serious form of figurative art. Born, in 1911, he was a factory worker in Tokyo until the mid-1930’s when he decided to pursue his art. Before WWII, Yoshizawa also studied for two years as a Buddhist priest, never entering a monastery, but remaining a devout Buddhist throughout his life.

For more than twenty years, Yoshizawa created his paper sculptures, earning a living by selling fish door to door.  In the 1950’s, Yoshizawa gained recognition after being commissioned by a Japanese magazine to fold the 12 signs of the Japanese zodiac. The feature led to exhibitions in Japan and Amsterdam.

Yoshizawa’s work is considered to be more sculptural art than folded paper. Known for his simple lines, inspired by the natural world, Yoshizawa folded animated birds, gorillas, dragons, fish, plants and flowers.  Yoshizawa is also known for his innovative folding techniques and for creating a system of origami instructions that are universally accessible.

Yoshizawa never sold any of his models and said that he considered them to be his children. He wrote 18 origami books that diagrammed a few hundred of his designs though it is estimated that he created more than 50,000 models.

Yoshizawa’s origami has been exhibited around the world and including the Cooper Union in New York, and the Louvre. In 1983, he received the Order of the Rising Sun, a national decoration awarded by the Japanese Government.  Yoshizawa died on March 14, 2005 in hospital in Ogikubo, from complications of pneumonia, on his 94th birthday.

Sources: NY Times, Wikipedia, TimesUK, Joseph Wu

Eric Joisel: Origami

Self Made Man-Eric Joisel

Born in 1956 in Paris, France, Eric Joisel has been creating his incredible origami sculptures since 1983.  Joisel’s first exhibit was at Espace Japon in Paris in 1987 and he became a professional folder in 1992. Prior to working in paper, he studied drawing and sculpting and worked in clay and stone.  Joisel prefers creating human figures and is fascinated by the world of J.R. Tolkien and faeries and has produced a number of works on this theme.  His portfolio also includes origami animals, musicians, barbarians, as well as a series based on Commedia dell’Arte.

To learn more about Eric Joisel and his folding process visit

Related Books:
Origami Design Secrets: Mathematical
Methods for an Ancient Art

The Origami Bible
Absolute Beginner’s Origami

Art-E-Facts: 5 Random Art Facts XI

road-nevada-desert-1960-Ansel Adams1. Group f/64 was a group of seven 20th century San Francisco photographers including Ansel Adams, and Edward Weston who shared a common photographic style characterized by sharp-focused and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western (U.S.) viewpoint. The group formed in opposition to the Pictorialist photographic style that had dominated much of the early 1900s, but moreover they wanted to promote a new Modernist aesthetic that was based on precisely exposed images of natural forms and found objects.

2. Kinetic art is art that contains moving parts or depends on motion for its effect. The moving parts are generally powered by wind, a motor or the observer. A pioneer of Kinetic art was Naum Gabo with his motorised Standing Wave of 1919–20. Mobiles were pioneered by Alexander Calder from about 1930. Kinetic art became a major phenomenon of the late 1950s and the 1960s and is still popular today.

Portrait-of-JFK-Elaine-de-Kooning-19633. In 1962 Elaine de Kooning received a commission from the White House to paint a portrait of President John F. Kennedy. De Kooning then spent the much of 1963 fine-tuning the portrait, collecting hundreds of photographs of Kennedy, and drawing short-hand sketches of him whenever he appeared on TV. The resulting portrait remains one of de Kooning’s most well known and celebrated paintings, and easily stands out in the long line of presidential portraits. Kennedy died shortly after on November 22, 1963.

the-creation-of-man-sistine-chapel-michelangelo-1508-124. Michelangelo was known to be a complicated man. “Arrogant with others and constantly dissatisfied with himself, he nonetheless authored tender poetry. In spite of his legendary impatience and indifference to food and drink, he committed himself to tasks that required years of sustained attention, creating some of the most beautiful human figures ever imagined.”

5. Steampunk Art is an art form based on  the sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used — usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England — but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. The popularity of steampunk has translated into all genres of the art world but especially in sculpture where  various found objects (often brass, iron, and wood) are molded into mechanical “steampunk” sculpture with design elements and craftsmanship consistent with the Victorian era.

Related Books:
Altered Curiosities: Assemblage Techniques and Projects
Elaine and Bill
Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture
Ansel Adams
Creative Kinetics: Making Mechanical Marvels in Wood

Sources: Wikipedia (Group f/64), Wikipedia (kinetic art), The Art Story (de Kooning), DAF (Michelangelo),  Wikipedia (Steampunk)

Jacquet Fritz Junior: Origami

Jacquet Fritz Junior - Origami

Jacquet Fritz Junior - Origami

These amazing origami sculptures are by French artist Jacquet Fritz Junior. Fascinated by paper from a very young age, JFJ is a self taught folder.  The masks you see here were sculpted by hand from toilet paper rolls and then coated with shellac and various pigments.  Fritz also uses other types of paper to create figurative and illuminated sculptures.

To see more of JFJ’s work, visit

jJacquet Fritz Junior-Origami

Jacquet Fritz Junior-Origami