I am interested in origami, particularly the artist Akira Yoshizawa.
He started his career as an engineer and left this career to become an origami artist. His work is displayed online, in books, and he has had lots of exhibitions. After he died, his work was recognised around the world and his work went on tour and was exhibited internationally. He was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun by Emperor Hirohito.
He is recognised as a master of origami and for raising origami from a craft to a living art. He created more than 50,000 models and wrote 18 books.
One of his books, that I own, has a foreword by Robert J Lang, an American Origami Artist, I emailed him for more information about Akira Yoshizawa and he replied to me. The emails are below.
From "Elysia Whitman" [email protected]:
Dear Mr Lang,
I am a student at Alfreton Education Centre in Derbyshire, UK and I have seen your writing in Akira Yoshizawa's book on origami. I am studying for my Silver Arts Award and am researching and making origami to help me pass my qualification.I really love Yoshizawa's work and would be grateful if you could give me some more information on him
RL: Hi, there’s several articles online about him. You can find some good material in David Lister’s articles, at https://britishorigami.info/lister/ .
and how he has influenced your work.
RL: I became acquainted with his work when I was fairly young; it was beautiful and inspiring. Also, when I saw some of his unpublished designs, it motivated me to try to design my own versions of the same subject.
I was inspired by seeing your website and loved reading about your journey with making the cicada, how did you stay motivated for so long trying to achieve the perfect shape.
RL: It’s the curse of perfection. Even after I think I’ve designed something well, after a while I start to see its flaws, and then I want to do a better job. So I try again.
I enjoyed reading about how you described how you hope to one day be able to appreciate Yoshizawa's work and I liked how you wrote the words, it showed how you learned from it. This was my favourite part of the writing and I wondered if you feel you have achieved this yet?
RL: I think it’s an ongoing process. As I grow in my art, I appreciate his art as well. But that’s a process that will never be completed.
Would you have any stories about Yoshizawa that you would be able to share?
RL: Nothing comes to mind at the moment.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my email and look forward to hearing from you.
RL: Happy to assist. Good luck with your Award!
Here is an image of Robert Lang with some of his insect origami.
I love insects and the outdoors and think this is something I would also like to develop with my origami skills. I am going to college to study on a Land based course and think I will use this knowledge of insects to carry on with my origami.
The British Origami society also run classes and there are lots of you tube video's in developing skills
British Origami Society - they publish magazines and sell papers.