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Modern Origami

Posted on October 24, 2019
"Pangulin" by Eric Joisel

For some time now, I've been reviving my old interest in the art of folding paper, better known as "Origami".
Specifically, I started again when, by chance (or maybe not), I came across the works of various artists, such as Robert J. Lang, Tomoko Fuse, Ilan Garibi and others.
It was clear that I had missed a few "steps", and it was time to catch up.
Let's see what this is about.

Origins

The new course of origami, or Origami 2.0 as I like to call it, has developed gradually since the 1930s, thanks to the work of the Japanese Akira Yoshizawa, the father of modern origami.
Yoshizawa introduced innovative techniques both in the design and in the realization of his works, many of which are still used today.
For example, he was the first to create four-legged animals 1 and to give three-dimensionality to his creations.
He invented the wet-folding technique (see dedicated section), now used in many forms and variations by all experienced origamists.
Last but not least, he introduced most of the symbolic notation used today to describe the folds of an origami model, known as the Yoshizawa-Randlett system.
Starting from the 50's Yoshizawa's works started to be known outside of Japan, and so other artists started to be interested in this new more expressionist conception of origami; in this case we remember the British Robert Harbin, but above all Neal Elias, first to use and popularize the technique of box-pleating, well known and relevant today, among the origami techniques.