ORIGAMI. 1988

SYMMETRY. Reflection about a vertical axis.

INSPIRATION. Commissioned by high school mathematics teacher David Masunaga for a talk about origami, and published in Peter Engel's book Origami from Angelfish to Zen.

STORY. This design was created at the request of David Masunaga, who used it in a talk about origami to illustrate the concept of grafting one construction onto part of another construction. See the previous inversion of the week for the complete story.
The four letters RIGA in the middle of ORIGAMI form the two Chinese characters which are called ORI and GAMI in Japanese. ORI means "to fold," and is composed of the characters for hand and ax. GAMI means "paper," and is composed the characters for silk and family.
For comparison, here is the original calligraphic version of origami on which I based my design, written by calligrapher and seal carver Xu Yunshu.

The G and A work rather easily. The biggest liberty was turning the substantial right angled roof on the ax character into the more liquid melting dot on the I. Notice that I repeated the same sort of droopy dot on the other I.
The letters O, M and I are written in the same visual style. I could have written them in purely Roman letters, as I did with Elise Diamond. M and I don't particularly look like Chinese characters, but O looks strongly like the the word "ko" ("mouth" or "entrance") in Japanese, so maybe this design looks like someone is eating a piece of origami, or an entry sign at an origami exhibition.



Copyright © 1997 Scott Kim.
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