Naoki Onogawa Museum of Art in Kagawa Prefecture Holds Folklore Exhibition

06.December.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

The Yokai Art Museum, which often works with local artists and community organizers in the ‘maze town’ of Shodoshima in Kagawa Prefecture, is currently holding the ‘Folklore Exhibition’ at the Naoki Onogawa Museum of Art. Six new works inspired by the Setouchi region are on display until December 26, 2021. 

 

Naoki Onogawa creates incredible sculptures made from tiny origami cranes that are folded one by one using only 1cm paper–and they’re made without tweezers! After experiencing the Tohoku Earthquake in 2011 when he was a student, he visited Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture a year after the disaster. Shocked and deeply impacted by what he saw, he began making origami cranes. The way he utilizes cranes is not as the traditional symbol of peace, but as solemn prayers to encase his feelings that have no other outlet. His works have a delicate and mysterious beauty that pulls in visitors and makes them think about the meaning of life itself. 

 

His new works, six of which were inspired by the Setouchi area, were on display at the Setouchi Municipal Museum of Art from March 9 to May 5, 2021.

 

 

 

My History with Paper Cranes | A Message from Naoki Onogawa

“Origami was my passion when I was a child. The origami crane is one of the most famous forms of traditional origami, and as I spent time making them, I started to feel that I could channel my emotions into them. It started to become a habit, then an obsession. I couldn’t stop. There was no endpoint or goal in mind, I just made them as often as I could. 

 

In 2011, the Tohoku Earthquake happened. In April of the following year, I visited Rikuzentakata City to listen to the community’s stories and to see the devastation firsthand. It was terrifying to see how helpless human beings are in the face of nature, but even still, I was struck by how strong human beings could be to persevere. No matter our age, race, gender, or status, we all face the major threats of nature, while also living in harmony with it. At that time, I was very aware that it was important to live in the moment. Beside a school building that had been totally destroyed by the tsunami, I saw a thousand paper cranes. 

 

It was akin to a solitary ritual. The paper cranes were used to express those feelings that had nowhere else to go and to pray for those who had been lost. I can’t really put it into words, but the cranes I make now might have come from those solemn prayers. This is the place for my cranes now. When I look at them now, I think that origami cranes are incredibly precious, and hide something mysterious within them. They are the ultimate beauty in my mind. 

 

Each of us has our own personal journey with these paper cranes. It’s up to each person to decide how he or she feels and how his or her thoughts are layered. I just hope that while looking at these works people will find their hearts moved.”

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