Origami's many marvels: Artist Himanshu Agarwal demonstrates the paper folding art

Knowingly or unknowingly, we’ve all done origami sometime in our lives. Derived from the Japanese words, Oru and Kami, which literally mean paper folding, origami’s premise is pretty simple; you start with a square or rectangular sheet of paper and transform it, through folding techniques, into a sculpture.

Jay Mehta February 22, 2018 19:24:58 IST

Have you ever made a paper boat, fan or plane? A tipi-tipi tap?

Knowingly or unknowingly, we’ve all done origami sometime in our lives. Derived from the Japanese words, Oru and Kami, which literally mean paper folding, origami’s premise is pretty simple: you start with a square or rectangular sheet of paper and transform it, through folding techniques, into a sculpture. It could be a swan, crane, violin, headphones, a fictional character… anything!

It is, essentially, a craft that has been developed into an art, says Himanshu Agarwal, a Mumbai-based origami artist. The idea of origami is not restricted to a certain kind of paper, size or technique. Though the use of glue and cuts is often used to make larger and more intricate designs, it is discouraged in modern origami. Agarwal feels that it is more of a test than discouragement. He says, “It’s like a challenge, can you make it (origami) from a single sheet of paper.”

Agarwal holds five world records for large origami. He feels that it is not just a design challenge, but a technical and mathematical challenge as well. Origami is not just limited to a hobby or an art form. It has a range of applications, from product design to architecture. In fact, NASA has satellite designs inspired by origami.

It’s an intricate art, which requires a lot of patience, and Agarwal suggests that a beginner should start with a simple design. There are tons of tutorials available on YouTube. So what are you waiting for? Grab a sheet of paper and start folding.

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