Vaijayanti Gondhalekar has been practicing the Japanese art of Origami for the past five years. This octogenarian was introduced to the paper-folding art by a friend.
This fascination led her to work towards 3D Origami which is much more intricate and requires patience. “For older people, 3D Origami is the best. It takes a lot of time and patience. Doing a one-paper fold is a little difficult for us. I’ve even made a bouquet of flowers and a model of a temple using just paper and Origami methods,” she says as she watches over her work at Wonderfold 2017, an Origami exhibition being held at Tilak Smarak Mandir.
Young folders add to charm
Folders as young as 10 years old have participated in this exhibition. Abhiram Joshi, 10, used his skills to make a transformer-like robot out of paper. Shardul Saykhedkar, 12, started folding paper at the age of three. His creations include several miniature models of animals and even a T-Rex.
“I like Origami better than studying. I’d love to continue doing this for the rest of my life.”
City’s love for the art
Origami has many lovers in Pune, thanks to the initiatives taken my Origami Mitra, a group founded in 1991 by Mumbai-based Gita Kantawala and renowned social worker, Late Indutai Tilak. With just over 50 people in the group now, the exhibition sees 30 ‘folders’ showcasing their talent. The range of objects on display include flowers, animals, cars, bikes, idols and mini figurines.
“Origami was introduced to me in 1976 by a friend who gave me a small figurine of a bird made of paper. I kept unfolding and folding it. Later, I got books by Isao Honda, the world-famous Origami artist. The finger movements done during Origami is actually beneficial for the brain and is a good preventive for Alzheimer’s disease.”
It’s like a stimulus,” explains Dr Anil Awachat, founder of Muktangan Rehabilitation Centre
He further adds that he has seen the paper-folding art grow immensely in Pune. “The art has grown like anything. In the beginning, there were just three or four people, now there are many more. Not just the old but young children are also taking part and building their interest in this.”
Linking Origami and Mathematics
Manjushri Dhume is a teacher looking for fun and innovative ways to teach children. At her Origami display, she demonstrate how children can learn the basics of mathematics through paper-folding. “When children learn this subject, it’s mostly intangible. They only know the formula, but not what it really means. They’re only taught in the traditional way. Through Origami, they can understand what it really means.
This can help remove their fear of learning maths ”
#The exhibition is on till October 29.
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