You’ve been quite a lot interested by the article about paper folding and traditional art. If people still wondering “what is the difference between Japanese origami and Chinese paper folding?”, I’ll give a small explanation then. First overall, “origami” is the Japanese name for paper folding, in China they call it “Zhezhi” (摺紙). Another difference between those two countries is, in China, you’ll find representations of hats and boats, mostly objects. There is also a new type of Chinese paper folding called “Golden venture”, it’s based on one “triangle pattern” that you multiplie and organise together (really interesting to know more about this topic! If you’re curious, you really should google it!). In Japan, Origami art is more focused on animals and plants and you usualy start with a square paper sheet. Apparently, Chinese introduce the art of paper folding to Japan during the 6th century. Meanwhile that art was used only for ceremonial purposes in China, it becomes a popular “hobby” art in Japan. Then Japanese have developped this through centuries.
Maybe that explanation is a bit to short and simple, but you’ll find well documented blog and websites with google if you’re curious to learn more about paper folding and origami.
These days I’ve tried to find more artists/jewellers working with Chinese traditional skills and materials. I found a Taiwanese artist, now living and working in Birmingham, where she was graduated in 2010 with the MA of jewellery and related products. Yu-Ping Lin uses a wild range of materials in her creations like felt, silk, sterling silver, mixed medias… She works mainly with fabrics and textil design skills: hand-painting, dyeing, digital printing, laser cutter… Her work crossed different art fields: jewellery, paper making, textil design! Also a mix of craft skills, Asian culture and new technologies. Yu-Ping Lin uses Chinese paper cutting tradition with Japanese Origami skills both blended with architecture inspiration. The result is a really structured complex work very colourful and quite fashionable! In the collection “Inherence in nature” the wearer can change the appearance of the pieces! After spending time learning and playing with origami, transforming flat pieces of paper/fabrics in 3D art, she just gives the relay to the wearer.
I really appreciate that kind of artist who works in different fields, mixing skills, materials; I think is how contemporary jewellery should be. We can’t be focused only on precious metal skills anymore with pretending we are doing something “new” and “unusual”! Or I would be really surprised to find someone using only metals (and precious stones) in a brand new way! Contemporary jewellery is not obviously about using new materials and new technologies. It’s also about how we can, as new designers, reusing our history, culture, old craftsman skills, personnal experiences and influences. Mixing all of these together in order to create something new! It sounds like we are recycling, but not only, we are creating.