Workshop on Origami charms adults and children alike
CHENNAI: It was pure magic when 18-year-old Shivaram Narayanan folded paper pieces and came up with a range of items cubes, paper caps, tumblers, elephants, butterflies and, of course, cranes, Japan's symbol of hope and peace.
The hour-long workshop at Oxford Bookstore on Haddows Road on Monday had adults gasping when Shivaram's dexterous fingers created exotic chrysanthemums or a dog. When children became restless, he asked the audience to take a guess. A child from the back said, "butterfly."
Shivaram refused to acknowledge the answer, but his mother gave away the suspense by clapping for the eight-year-old girl. Next, when he began folding a grey sheet of paper, the children came up with rhino, dog, and then a six-year-old guessed, "elephant."
"My journey into folds and creases began on a muddy evening without power when I was five, using an elementary book on Origami," Shivaram told his admirers. At nine, he held a solo exhibition at the Government Museum in Chennai and at 11 was awarded the national child award for exceptional achievement in the field of Origami, instituted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Among his contributions to Origami is the Ganesha. He told the audience the tale of the Japanese holocaust victim Sadako Sasaki and the Paper Crane Club, which helped to make the paper crane a vibrant symbol of the hope for peace.
Kazuo Minagawa, Consul General of Japan in Chennai, released his book `Fold In Fold Out - Origami Originals'. The book lists one of his favourite experiences: In an exhibition in Mumbai, a man picked up a paper chip from the display bowl and popped it into his mouth.
"I was surprised that in India there was such a young person interested in Origami," Mr. Minagawa said, calling Shivaram's a genius. "Origami is my best pastime. Japan was very poor after World War II and northern Japan was very, very poor. I made lots of fighter planes. But now I have forgotten it all. There is not a single Japanese who does not know the art of Origami. It stimulates creativity and underlies the technological development of Japan."
He praised Shivaram's effort and said the book was a handy tool to learn the art.