Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge

A Quick Overview Of Origami Art

For millennia, nations have devised inventive ways to approach, accept, and adapt the paper craft in an artistic manner, Visit origami wall art and see amazing designs. While some of these activities, such as Korean Hanji, can be traced back to specific countries, the majority such as papier maché, a French-sounding craft that originated in ancient China have colorful histories that transcend cultures, countries, and even continents.

The skill of origami, or paper folding, is one popular pastime that has created a very enormous paper trail around the world. Origami has roots in China and Europe, yet it is most commonly associated with Japan. We’ll look at the practice’s unique history to see how each country has influenced this beautiful and popular art form.

What exactly is Origami?

The art of paper folding is known as origami. The words ori (“folding”) and kami (“paper”) are derived from Japanese. Origami is a Japanese art technique in which a single sheet of square paper (often with a colored side) is folded into a sculpture without being cut, glued, taped, or even labeled.

origami wall art


Around 105 AD, paper was invented in China, and folded paper, or zhezhi, appeared shortly after. Paper yuanbao, or gold nuggets, were a common sight at traditional Chinese funerals by 900 AD. These ephemeral ornaments were made by delicately folding gold or yellow paper into ingot currency, with the aim of being tossed into a fire at the end of the ritual. Paper folding would eventually become a regular practice. Modern Chinese paper-folding, like Japanese origami, is interested in depicting inanimate items such as boats and crates.


Paper was introduced to Japan around the sixth century. Paper folding became a Shinto ceremonial ritual at this period. Origami was not regarded as a recreational activity or an art form in Japan until the Edo Period (1603–1868). Flowers, birds, and other nature-based motifs were common in origami creations, comparable to Japanese woodblock prints, which were also popular at the time.

These themes are also evident in contemporary origami, which follows the traditional Japanese craft in every manner save one: the discipline initially permitted artists to strategically cut sheets of paper. True origami, on the other hand, is moulded entirely through folds, a feature that the Japanese inherited from Europe.


Paper folding is said to have evolved in Europe from napkin folding, which became popular in the 17th century. Napkin folding, like Japanese origami, included a variety of procedures and techniques that resulted in a variety of abstract and figurative forms.

This fascination in folding eventually spread beyond dinner party napkins and into schools, most notably in Friedrich Fröbel’s revolutionary curriculum. Fröbel, as the inventor of kindergartens, introduced a variety of hands-on activities, like paper folding, into his “play and activity” institutes. Children were more familiar with origami as a result of this, and the art form spread across the continent.