This is my last documentation for Paper Arts this semester.
My final project should have been a life-sized paper sculpture which is endowed severe critics towards industrialized education nowadays, a gift to many contemporary schools and educational systems. However, I gave up that idea after finding how hard it could be to even build an arm of a out-of-proportion man. So what I experienced later was a dry and bitter period of time with no inspiration. What I tried was: 1. looking at artists’ work to seek inspiration , 2. looking for ways to realize my original idea, 3. reading books and watching videos, as well, to seek inspiration, 4. buying new paper and, closely touching them to think of a project from paper itself. However, nothing worked out. One reason was that- just nothing struck me. Second was that- I was afraid of trying new things such as projection, conductive materials and most of all illustrators. However, the most important reason was that I tried too hard to be ambitious, comparing myself with others and pushing myself to be creative. Thus the process became inevitably embarrassing and struggling for I was not creating something for the pure sake of creating but working. I wanted to create something I love, and it would be the best if the project could show everyone a story. However, I forgot that I could also tried the way which I am most comfortable with to create something not that complicated but amazing, at least to me. Like Zipan created fantastic paper cutting – traditional but still astonishing.
So my final project became an hourglass on a paper cliff- all made by card board and towel paper. The latter material was used to intimate a sense of ocean waves- for somewhat reason I am obsessed with waves. What was projected on it was my roommates’ dancing to describe dullness and time-passing. However, this time the narrative of the “story” was apparently awkward.
However awkward the result appeared, I wanted to defend the work itself for it knows what I did in the dark of Shanghai. It was a long battle for me to figure out how to lift the upper part of the hourglass (btw, I should credit the idea of hourglass to lovely Muxin. It was her that helped my combine the construction of tetrahedron and time together). Susan suggested me fix it by installing a iron circle. But it turned out to be unsatisfactory. So learning from Susan’s projects, I chose threads to pull the large structure- achievement no.1. I managed to project the video- achievement no.2. The process of creating it was an inspiration that was better than any branch or stone I picked outside of campus to stimulate my thoughts. Yet there was nothing more than that for it was not a comprehensive project with a concrete idea. So as the creator, I felt extremely sorry for it when I needed to present it when it was not ready.
With anger and guilt in mind, I came up with the idea of making something that would please myself. So eventually I turned back to Origami, which seemed more troublesome and less exciting for it is too traditional, not that modern and still requires a great amount of time, energy and patience. Yet it is definitely the most enjoyable thing for me to do. It was amazing to find a real life in paper. At the beginning ,what you could see is merely a complicated pattern. But what comes out at last is a tangible thing.
My friend Kimberly told me: Art can be the most frustrating thing in the world. But people just cannot live without it.
I believe her words to be true. But the fact is that I quite enjoy that frustration and failures. I enjoyed and appreciated to get pushed and see my peers’ amazing work. They are amazing not only because the work itself is beyond imagination but also because we can see efforts through the work. I always thought it would be a chance to say something that I never dared to say. And actually I made it. I spent one day and a half to completely concentrate on the origami eagle. That eagle means something different. So I am satisfied, at the end of the day.
UNICORN ON WAVES (FIRST PROJECT)
My arts know what I did in the dark. Doing origami, kirigami, pop-up books and searching for inspiration once made me feel like fainting away for all of them require much more patience and energy than I imagined. Things I have learned are more than techniques.
Thank you all ! For letting me encounter such an amazing world during the process of growth.
And I will definitely keep doing origami. Thank you, once again.