The Evolution of Origami

The Evolution of Origami

The business of the Japan’s famous paper technology, the art of Origami, is continuing to grow through popularity and through other art avenues.

Local ceramic artist and recent graduate from Arizona State University, Tamaki Matsumoto taught a STEM workshop, in June at the Tempe Public Library. She used origami art to show children how to fold paper into bugs and insects and to have them understand the basics of building.

Matsumoto chose to showcase insects in her workshop to help children see the beauty behind insect. As, a young girl she developed a fear of bugs and insects after she was bit by a tick. It was after this experience, Matsumoto was able to overcome her fear and, “realized how beautiful they and all their interesting shapes,” by touring an insect exhibit at the Arizona Museum of Natural History.

Matsumoto has three ceramic pieces on display in the Fly, Climb and Glide exhibit at the Tempe Public Library.

Originally, Matsumoto was going to have a ceramic workshop but because of room regulations she decided to teach origami. Her Japanese culture and knowledge about origami and connected it to the science portion of STEM. The room was filled with parents and children eager to learn.

“Crafting bugs will help them be more comfortable with bugs and be more relatable to them,” Matsumoto said.  

She explained how origami is still very relevant in Japanese culture through lanterns, walls in traditional Japanese houses and in many other forms.

“Prior to the advent of paper machinery in the 19th century, paper was made by hand everywhere; conversely, nowadays, in Japan as well as elsewhere, paper is made primarily by machine, though hand-paper-making continues, particularly for specialized or artisan papers” Origami professional and past NASA Physicist, Dr. Robert J. Lang said.

An excerpt from the article, Origami helps Scientist Solve Problems, “Origami – the ancient Japanese tradition of paper folding has long been recognized as an art, but now origami is providing the answers to real world problems in mathematics, engineering, and astronomy proving that origami is more than just child’s play.” Published by the American Institute of Physics.  

Dr. Lang explained how the business of Origami is very versatile like many other forms of art, “The “business” of origami is pretty diverse. The business of origami can include art (both commercial and fine-art), applications in engineering, books, teaching, and much more. They’re all continuing” Dr. Lang said


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