Wet-Folded Origami Breathes Life into Sculptures

Many of us may be familiar with the small, creatively folded paper creatures that form the essence of origami. Hoang Tien Quyet has taken origami to a whole new level, adding a water element to his figures to make the paper become more sculpted and life-like.

His technique of ‘wet’ origami has similarities to traditional origami, but is practiced in a much different, delicate manner. Traditional origami uses thin paper that is easy for folding, but wet origami must use a thicker paper that will not tear or shred once it is wet. The wetting of paper has a similar effect to creating a paper maché, but also gives more shape and fluidity to the origami figures. If the paper is too dry, it doesn’t shape as well, and if it is too wet, it will rip. It is a truly delicate process.

The result is beautiful, fluid looking creatures. The sculptures look almost malleable and soft; rather, they are hard and rigid from the paper maché effect. Quyet likes the ability to add personality into his work.

Quyet was infatuated with origami since childhood, joining an Origami group when he was young. He sharpened his skills in the wet fold origami from the techniques of Akira Yoshizawa, beginning to make his own shapes and styles in the 2008. He also co-authored a book in 2011 and 2013 on wet folded origami.


--Jessalyn Kieta

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