Origami elicits images of simple 3D constructs with paper, such as birds and animals. But this isn’t the only thing that a sheet of paper can achieve, it can be folded in incredibly complex ways that seem impossible.
Who better than Juho Könkkölä, a 23-year-old Finnish origami artist, to know this, who has been practicing this for the last 15 years? And he creates some really unbelievably expressive human characters that he picks up from history, folk tales, mythologies, books, movies, video games, and everyday observations. Says he on his website, “Origami is perhaps more of a craft. But the characters can have a story through which to tell things.”
Such exquisite is Könkkölä’s figures from the fantasy world that they draw gasps from the viewers. He has displayed some of his works at the Amos Rex Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland, among others. Although he has created hundreds of origami figures, some stand out, such as ‘The Ruler of the Dragon’, which has 1,500 folds in claws and spikes alone! Another popular one is ‘The Dancing Couple’, which is folded from a sheet with one side dark and the other light.
Although it may not appear so, every artwork of his is folded from a single square sheet of paper, without any cutting or clipping. He uses Wenzhou rice paper to create his origami figures. According to him, the most important skill in making an origami sculpture is the ability to outline parts of a 3D figure from a 2D paper.
A simple human figure can take Könkkölä only 20 minutes to make, but the more complex ones may require several months of work. However, he doesn’t mind all the intricate work involved in creating his figures. He says on his website, “Origami is therapeutic. It’s fascinating to find out what can be accomplished from one square of paper.”
Although he possesses an experience of over 15 years in origami art, he’s ever enthusiastic to learn new skills and refine his art techniques to accomplish even his wildest ideas.