ABOUT THE ARTIST
Seth Friedman is one of the leading artists of origami’s next generation. He has exhibited his work and taught origami in Canada, France, Spain, Japan and the United States. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he now lives in the countryside of New York State within the Catskill mountains. With awe inspiring nature as his muse, he dedicates himself to perpetuating this amazing new art form.
WHAT IS ORIGAMI?
The word ‘origami’ or ‘折紙’ is Japanese. It is a compound word of two individual characters. ‘折’ read ‘oru’ meaning ‘to fold’, and ‘紙’ read ‘kami’ meaning ‘paper’ are joined; ‘oru’ ‘kami’ becomes ‘origami’, which literally means ‘to fold paper’.
Origami today is a hobby, an art, a science and more. There are lots of different people doing lots of different things with paper, and they are all doing origami. Despite the differences, they are all working with a one fundamental technique—folding. My own practice of origami is guided by conventions that many other artist also follow. But these conventions are by no means rules, and I occasionally ignore conventions that I usually follow. The simple convention that I for the most part always follow, is that all of my sculptures are made from one single square of paper by only folding—without cutting or tearing the paper.
A LITTLE ORIGAMI HISTORY
Origami is often described as a traditional Japanese art form. The origami that has become a part of modern popular culture originated in Japan, but paper folding traditions also existed in China, Germany, Italy and Spain among other places. Traditional origami sculptures were very simple and abstract. The most common of which is probably the traditional Japanese crane or ‘折鶴’. To achieve more realistic forms, origami artists of the past cut, and used several sheets or sheets of varying shape and size.
In the early 20th century Akira Yoshizawa reinvented the art of origami, taking it to never before imagined heights. His innovation inspired a whole new generation of artists to push the boundaries of the young and exciting art form.
In more recent history, other individuals have made major contributions to the evolution of the art. At around the start of the new millennium, Robert J. Lang wrote the first ever in-depth treatise on the subject of origami design, borrowing from the wealth of geometric and scientific knowledge gained during the course of the computer age. Michael Laffose founded Origamido Studio, where he researched and experimented to create the perfect paper for modern origami, making the creation of sculptures of incredible intricacy and artfulness from a single sheet of paper finally possible. And Japan became the home for many new origami designers and authors. Satoshi Kamiya lead the way for young designers and the next generation of origami, creating some of the most complex and beautiful origami sculptures that have yet to be realized.
Complex, realistic origami sculptures like those you see in the gallery are possible because modern origami designs start with pencil, paper and a notebook. Each image in the gallery has a small square image of lines located in the bottom-right corner. This is called a Crease Pattern (CP for short). The CP is a representation of an origami model, unfolded. Rather than using trial and error, modern origami designs are planned from the ground up. After the lines of the Crease Pattern are folded, the origami ‘base’ is formed. As its name implies, the ‘base’ is not the finished sculpture, but it does have everything the origami artist needs to produce a given form. The base is transformed into the finished model by a combination of folding and sculpting techniques.