Flat Balloons and Takayama’s Dog Project
I’ve always had this dream of creating an art installation in a public space, specifically using recycled materials. I wanted to show the versatility and durability of many of the things we throw away, like newspaper or cardboard. This dream nearly became a reality when I attempted to make 1,000 origami balloons out of newspaper, and planned to place them in random spots all over New York City.
Unfortunately, making 1,000 origami balloons takes a really long time, and I was never able to complete this project. Nonetheless, see the video below that I made to show people how to create their own origami balloon (please note that the blog URL in the end credits is now defunct).
As seen on the fantastic DudeCraft blog, the artist Akane Takayama had a similar dream. Merging art education with art installation, she recruited local students to make 1,000 recycled cardboard dogs, then place them in various London parks. The students are then able to take them home, and are encouraged to photograph their new “pets” in their new environment.
I think it’s an awesome way of teaching the universal nature of art; that it doesn’t need to exist within a gallery space or in some affluent person’s home. It also shows the room for creativity lying within things we quickly discard.
What would you think if you saw these dogs? Would the materials used still be seen in the same context of unusable trash? How does the change in shape alter the purpose of these materials?
Seeing this, I just may do my origami balloon project after all ;)