blue's Chinese 3D modular origami

Introduction

I was first introduced to Chinese modular origami by my aunt when I was in elementary school. A friend of hers taught her how to make a pineapple (ball), we made one with 500 pieces of Chinese 1 cent bills, because of the color of the bill, dark yellow/brown, it actually looked convincing. She also told me that her friend had huge models of ships made out of same triangle pieces, I didn't really believe it was possible.

Summer of 1997, I visited a small Chinese museum in Chinatown that had these models on display. The models were amazing, range from full size American bald eagle, full size bikes, tea sets, to miniature ship models (about 5 feet long). The models were made by bunch of Chinese stowaways that got locked up. They represented their American dreams, sometimes these origami are also refer to as Chinese Refugees Modular Units. I wasn't allowed to take any pictures, and I didn't have enough time to figure out how they are made.

Winter 2001, I found a bunch of websites by other Chinese origami model fans. They had some amazing models that I had never seen, some where designed by themselves. One of them pointed me to a Japanese book store in NYC (Kinokuniya Bookstores) that had lots of books on these models. Apparently these type of origami are a lot more popular than i thought, Japanese call them block folding origami.

The thing I love about this type of modular origami, compare to other modular origami or normal origami, is that the individual units are very simple to fold, I often make them while watching TV. But once you assemble them, you can create wonderful complicated looking 3D models. Thanks to these wonderful websites and books, I was able to make a lot of different new models, not just the simple pineapple.

6 Comments:

  • At March 5, 2008 7:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i love modular origami! ur stuff is amazing. keep updating now and then. im also in the process of getting some of those books u recommended, especially that sanrio one. and thanks for the tutorials. very helpful :)

     
  • At May 19, 2008 6:37 AM , Blogger zehngxu said...

    i love your mashimaro origami would you please send me the process of making it? really please T^T

     
  • At December 18, 2008 10:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I really like your model.. I want to purchase the books, but theres about $37AUD, do you know any site that would sell it for cheaper

     
  • At September 21, 2009 2:54 PM , Anonymous Fernanda Gomez said...

    Thanks for sharing the diagrams, I am a 3D origami fan and here are my creations http://www.papercraftcentral.net/category/3d-origami/

     
  • At March 15, 2010 2:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    what was the name of the museum did you visited?

     
  • At March 15, 2010 2:27 PM , Blogger blue said...

    Museum of Chinese in America on Mott St. It's the Fly to Freedom collection.
    http://www.mocanyc.org/collections/highlights

     

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