Shakti – In the 1950s, newcomers to origami relied on books with instructions to learn the craft. Today enthusiasts can learn how to fold via Youtube. This may be reducing regional variations in the craft.
Elephant – Nguyen says that origami ranges from highly scripted to totally freestyle: "Origami can be very formulaic, with a set of precise, calculated steps to follow, or it can be improvisational, where you feel and sculpt the paper until the result meets your satisfaction."
St. Michael The Archangel – Vietnamese artist Tran Trung Hieu creating this work, which includes both creases and gentle bends. Origamists from Vietnam have mastered the technique of wet-folding, in which artists dampen the paper, allowing them to create gentle bends rather than sharp creases.
Owlets – Origami artist Bernie Peyton created each of these baby owls using just one sheet of paper, which was gold on one side and green on the other.
Red Eyed Frog – "Origami can be used to create incredibly realistic forms," says Uyen Nguyen, curator of the upcoming Surface to Structure: Folded Forms exhibition at Copper Union. "Not just to the likeness of say, an insect, but down to the exact species of that particular insect with proportions of its body segment true to real life."
Rabbits in Motion – Designed by Ronald Koh and folded by Ng Boon Choon Singapore/Malaysia, these rabbits show the artists' attention to detail.
Kiwi – The Surface to Structure exhibition includes 130 works from artists on five continents. Among the pieces is this depiction of a Kiwi, by Bernie Peyton. It is instantly recognizable by its long down-curved bill.
South African Lion – Belgian and German artists also used gentle bends for this lion.
Vole – This form depicts the vole, a small, mouse-like rodent with a rounded muzzle, found in Europe, Asia and North America.
The fashion dress – "I am also showing the many genres of origami, including a fashion segment, which isn't typically considered to be a standard category of origami," Nguyen says. Shown here is the "Enfaltung" dress by designer Jule Waibel .
Event Horizon – American origamist Byriah Loper created this work of modular origami. As Nguyen explains, "Modular origami uses multiple sheets of paper, folded into identical units, and takes these units and interlocks them, without cuts or adhesive, to obtain a final form that is usually very angular and representative of geometric solids."
Asymmetry – Erik and Martin Demaine created this swirling work. Nguyen says they are among the only origami artists to cross over into the mainstream. "[They] have a few pieces which are part of The Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection," she says.
Nudibranch – Tomohiro Tachi of Japan created this shiny work. "I find that the Japanese tend to be more calculated and precise with their folding," Nguyen says, "which can allow for a huge amount of detail and complexity."
Constrained Bowl – The possibilities for origami keep expanding. "The most major change over the past twenty years is that artists have begun to write software to help them design their forms," Nguyen says. "Others have taken the style in a different direction, opting for more abstract, concept-driven structures than representational models."