Atlanta, February 3, 2012 — A series of origami demonstrations and workshops by Japan's renowned origami expert Makoto Yamaguchi and his assistants, Eiko Matsuura and Kyohei Katsuka were held at Georgia Tech's Robert C. Williams Paper Museum and SCAD Atlanta.
Origami's origin can be traced back to the Chinese Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD). Origami is said to arrive in Japan in the 7th century and has since evolved to practical use such as gift wraps. When paper production techniques developed and ordinary people had relatively easy access to paper, origami blossomed into a popular paper folding art.
Mr. Makoto Yamaguchi has been a professional origami artist since 1973. In 1989, he established a gallery called “Origami House,” which has become a headquarters for the training of young origami artists and a showcase for the work of Japanese and international origami creators.
He is the head of the Japanese Origami Academic Society secretariat, a member of the Nippon Origami Association, a life member of OrigamiUSA, and a member of the British Origami Society. In addition, he is also the editor-in-chief of “Origami Tanteidan” magazine, which he created in 1990, and the author of more than 80 origami books in both Japanese and English.
Mr. Yamaguchi is also the creator of “Origami Caravan,” a humanitarian effort for the children in the Sendai area affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Mr. Yamaguchi is sharing his thoughts on origami in an exclusive interview with Georgia Asian Times.
GAT: Is origami unique to Japan?
Yamaguchi: In addition to Japan, there is postulation that origami is originated in China and Spain. It is difficult to know for certain. However, I think it's fair to say that Japan has developed origami the most while respecting the culture of the art. That's why the Japanese word “origami” is understood around the world.
GAT: Do you used glue or scissors in origami?
Yamaguchi: Scissors have been used in classic or traditional works. Amongst the amateur origami enthusiasts, there is a line of thinking in which scissors are prohibited. It is best to complete a creation using just a single square sheet of paper, but that doesn't mean that scissors may not be used. Glue is often used to make two portions into one, or reinforcement.
GAT: Do you normally use only one sheet of paper in origami?
Yamaguchi: Among the forms you can create though origami, there are those that only require one sheet of paper. There others which you need two or more sheets of paper. In certain cases – you have to make copies of one portion of a creation which is called “unit origami.”
GAT: What type of paper is used in origami?
Yamaguchi: You are not required to use a certain type of paper in origami. If you fold paper that you happen to find nearby, then it becomes origami paper. To make a really attractive origami creation, I recommend trying many different types of paper.
GAT: How does on become a skilled at origami?
Yamaguchi: First, you have to closely observe folding techniques, and then try to fold accurately and carefully. it's especially important to make sure you create good creases.
You should also try to make many different forms. Try making something while watching how's its supposed to be done, and remember that if you can't get to the next step, it's likely you've made a mistake in an earlier step. Try going back and checking the previous few steps to see whether or not you did them correctly.