New origami inventions

The ancient art of origami is being revolutionised by an Israeli artist who creates beautifully tessellated objects out of metal, concrete and even cake mix. Materia discusses some of his fabulous, folded works below.

Ilan Garibi’s first line of metal origami was presented at the 2013 Miart exhibition in Milan. With their mirrored faces, the elaborately folded metal origami surfaces reflect and refract their surroundings, giving the work a distinctly cubist feel. Each of the works is made from a laser cut, 1 mm thick sheet of stainless steel, which Garibi folded by hand in order to transform an otherwise static and flat sheet of metal into a dynamic, three dimensional sculpture that seems to defy the material properties of stainless steel.

Garibi also explores the beauty of concrete as a material through the art form of origami. In collaboration with Israeli designer Ofir Zucker, he created a series of concrete origami vases. Garibi first created a single-use, hand folded mould out of paper for each vase. The moulds are then filled with concrete. Once the concrete hardens, he slowly pulls the moulds away to reveal vases that are textured like a delicate work of origami but also highly functional and durable vessels for holding water and flowers.

Inspired by his tessellated moulds, several of his students even folded baking paper in order to create an tessellated, origami cake mould. Martha Stewart take note!

Garibi’s fascination with the art of origami spans over 30 years. He originally created intricate tessellations and installations with paper before taking to the exploration of other materials. What makes his work particularly fascinating is his exploration of the limits and aesthetics of individual materials within the very strict rules of traditional origami, which dictate that a material is folded or creased only – no cuts or glue are allowed. In quoting Matisse, Garibi expresses his belief that, “Much of the beauty that arises in art comes from the struggle an artist wages with his limited medium.” 

Find out more about Ilan Garibi and his material transformations here.