Art or Craft?

General discussion about Origami, Papers, Diagramming, ...

Is origami a craft or an art?

Craft
0
No votes
Art
23
35%
Neither
2
3%
Both
40
62%
 
Total votes : 65

Art or Craft?

Postby notefolds » April 15th, 2008, 12:19 am

I was reading the Origami Piracy thread http://snkhan.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3825 and there was some talk about art in relation to origami. This reminded me of a recent conversation I had with a friend.

This friend argued that origami was nothing more than a craft. The main crux of her argument was that art is created to move the viewer and have them view the world in a different way. I showed her galleries of models, from animals to modular geometric pieces. She had no idea that origami could be so complex, but still dismissed it as a craft.

In my opinion, origami does help us look at the world in a different way. Being constrained by the limitations of our practice forces us to re-imagine what we are trying to recreate in paper. Seeing a truly amazing work of origami can baffle an observer, who might think "That was created from one piece of paper with no cutting or glue?!"

I know origami has been featured in art galleries before, but what are your thoughts on this? By the way, I searched for a topic on this question, but did not find one dedicated to it, so I apologize if this is a repost.
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Postby Joseph Wu » April 15th, 2008, 12:29 am

You really need another category: both.

Oh, and your friend is very narrow-minded.
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Postby Finward » April 15th, 2008, 12:37 am

I think Origami is a craft as it is understanded as paper folding. but when you take it to paper sculpting through paper folding, i think is taken to a completely new level
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Postby notefolds » April 15th, 2008, 12:44 am

Joseph Wu wrote:You really need another category: both.


I don't think I can edit the poll, so just vote twice (if it will let you.) And why do you say both? Examples of origami as art and as craft?

Yes my friend is narrow minded, but she is a fine arts major, so that speaks for itself!
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Postby Joseph Wu » April 15th, 2008, 12:58 am

notefolds wrote:Yes my friend is narrow minded, but she is a fine arts major, so that speaks for itself!

Ah, yes, fear the student, especially the student artist, for they feel that they know everything...
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Postby Joseph Wu » April 15th, 2008, 1:00 am

notefolds wrote:I don't think I can edit the poll, so just vote twice (if it will let you.) And why do you say both? Examples of origami as art and as craft?

I've just added "both" for you. And I say both because there is definitely a craft and an art component to origami. The craft is in the technique, and the artistry is in the expression.
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Postby Rdude » April 15th, 2008, 1:05 am

Origami is definitely an art and a craft; I'd say it starts becoming an art when things like paper choice, sculpting, design and presentation are being considered. In some ways higher complexity models could be considered "more artsy" but then again, complexity isn't everyting; some of the simplest models can be breathtaking, like the standard crane. There is just something about its form and elegance that makes it a little bit more than "just a craft" Random folding, like making a swan or rose on the bus is more of a craft, but pushing the limits of the form and figure of a given model, even if it isn't your design, is definitely artistic.

Andrew


edit - Joseph you beat me to the draw, and said what I couldn't say in an entire paragraph in one sentence :D All of this math for engineering is killing my linguistics!
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Postby qtrollip » April 15th, 2008, 1:11 am

I don't know if it's an art or craft, it doesnt really matter to me. What I do know is that it is fun and mentaly stimulating.
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Postby Joseph Wu » April 15th, 2008, 1:20 am

Rdude wrote:edit - Joseph you beat me to the draw, and said what I couldn't say in an entire paragraph in one sentence :D All of this math for engineering is killing my linguistics!

Oh, I don't know about that. I find my science background makes me very terse in my writing. Meaning gets lost in conciseness, sometimes.
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Postby Joe the white » April 15th, 2008, 2:27 am

Art:
The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.

Craft:
An art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill, esp. manual skill.

By definition, origami and most other "crafts", are art. In the same way "art" is art. Painting the side of one's house may not be considered an art, the same as someone folding a traditional crane. However, one may consider the Mona Lisa as one, why not some origami works such as Eric Joisel's characters? Is it the complexity? No, I believe it is the skill, and execution of that skill. Giang Dinh and Akira Yoshizawa come to mind, their models are underlyingly simple, but are exceedingly beautiful.

I've met the same criticism and opposition in college, and tried to show them how I see it by using origami when possible. I actually got by in my three dimensional art class on paper, wire, foam core board, soap stone, and french fries as my mediums and still recieved an A. I may have overdone it a bit with paper, and should have explored other mediums, but I was more or less trying to prove my point to my teacher who was adamant in teasing me and laughing at origami. I think in the end, it made him laugh less at least, he was one tough cookie =p.
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Postby Jonnycakes » April 15th, 2008, 3:53 am

Both. The people who say that origami is a craft are probably the same ones who have never seen anything other than cranes and ninja stars (and perhaps a waterbomb or swan, too). Those are traditional models that are generally used to introduce people to origami or fold quickly to impress someone. And origami is certainly functional at the level of a craft-a simple hobby and pastime.

Origami as an art is more than following diagrams of simple, traditional models to me. It is folding something and making it beautiful. Making something beautiful is all that art is, right? Beauty manifests itself in many different ways in my opinion. Something doesn't have to be 'pretty' to be beautiful. It can be ugly and hateful and still be beautiful. There are some wonderfully beautiful pieces of music that are dissonant and nasty sounding. Beauty may not mean that to all people, but that is what it means to me. A better way of saying it might be an aesthetic experience.

Bottom line, the people who say origami is not art are ignorant (probably). It is not mainstream like painting or sculpting, so many people do not think it is art. And that is why so many people shut up when they see some good origami. Take a look at Hojyo's or Joisel's stuff and tell me origami isn't art. Anyway, I will end my rant here :P

Joe the white wrote:I actually got by in my three dimensional art class on paper, wire, foam core board, soap stone, and french fries as my mediums and still recieved an A.


Haha-I've never heard of french fries as an artistic medium. Kudos for the unconventional materials-all of them. Were your grades for the paper part lower because of your teacher's views on origami?
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Postby Theiresias » April 15th, 2008, 9:36 am

Some consolation to all offended origami artists from my side:

Origami itself cannot be a craft because it is completely useless. A craft is never useless.

The technique of paper folding and all those techniques for realizing a model may be crafts, but they all serve the art form. They are mere means to an end, only serving the purpous of achieving the expression the artist desires in his model.

Btw. saying that origami is useless is no offence.

"All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde
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Postby origami_8 » April 15th, 2008, 10:11 am

Not all Origami is useless. There are a lot of action models you can play with for hours (f.e. the spinning top by Manpei Arai). Origami boxes can be used to store things, especially the small ones are good to hold screws or other small things that could get lost easily. If I take a machine apart I always fold some boxes to hold the small parts.
You can make people smile if you give them folded things. I often fold on my way to/from work/school and give away the folded things to people that are watching me while folding.
Something that makes people smile can't be completely useless in my opinion.
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Postby angrydemon » April 15th, 2008, 1:10 pm

Origami is certainly not useless! It can provide hours of endless fun and/or stress and when you're finally done with a model, you can stare at it for hours while fiddling and touching it with your hands until it's perfect or you start getting sick of it. Origami can also be used for self defense! The moment you get mugged and or gang-raped, and you just happened to have an origami shuriken in your pocket, you can fling it at the bad guy...or girl and hope it hits him...or her in the eye. Is that horsefly lying on your toast starting to bug you? Fold an origami club out of the nearest magazine and send that little bugger flying to oblivion! Are you eating peanuts and have no place to throw the shells? Just make an origami box and throw them in! Then, all you have to do is leave it underneath your neighbor's car. When he backs out the driveway, the peanuts will start cracking and freak him out, yet again providing you with hours of mindless entertainment!

There are so many conventional uses that can be applied to origami, so obviously it's not useless! I one day hope to make a life-size origami car and drive around in it. Unless of course it crumples up when I sit on it or if it catches fire from the burning petrol.
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Postby Rdude » April 15th, 2008, 5:09 pm

Robert Lang has used origami techniques to design air bags, and is working on some sort of huge, foldable lens, that could be theoretically made as big as possible on earth, folded up, and then deployed when in space, giving better vision than the hubble.

Origami meet high technology.

Andrew

@Joseph - Hahaha, I've heard the sciences are pretty good at that :D
(although I can't tell that to my friends in sciences)
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