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Origami creatures flock to this garden sculpture show

“What inspires me about origami is its simple metaphor for life. We all begin with a blank page, what we choose to do with it is up to us and the possibilities are endless,” said artist and sculptor Kevin Box, who has long been intrigued by the Japanese art of folding paper.

A traveling exhibit, “Origami in the Garden,” blossomed last weekend at the Naples Botanical Garden in Florida.

Each piece in the exhibit began with a single piece of paper, but then Box created a method of capturing that intricate detail into delicate but durable metal castings. The exhibit features Box’s own compositions as well as collaborations with internationally renowned origami artists.

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Perhaps the most stunning piece in the exhibit is a “Sculpture of a Thousand Cranes,” comprised of 500 origami cranes that tower above a reflecting pool.

“A lot of my work is designed to engage what we see and what we don’t see. So the reflection goes back to this theme of what’s going on beneath the surface. Who is important in our lives who may not be with us today but are still affecting us?”

One of the other origami artists featured in the exhibit is Robert J. Lang, who is also a physicist. He says in addition to the beauty of origami, there are applications for important technical innovations.

“People over the last 20 years have used origami techniques to make heart stents, telescopes and airbags, and many more devices in the engineering world,” says Lang.

The origami exhibit just concluded a six-month run at the Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. After the Naples stop, the paper sculptures move to the Morton Arboretum in Illinois next summer.


Video shot by Andrew Ina, produced and edited by Jackie Shafer. This report originally appeared on PBS member station WOSU. Local Beat is an ongoing series on Art Beat that features arts and culture stories from PBS member stations around the nation.

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