Mabona’s intricate origami evolved from his obsession with folding paper airplanes as a child. For the Japanese American National Museum show, the artist chose to tackle the issue of money and the duality of its symbolization of both ambition and damnation as the cause of both joy and pain. Comparing the world’s crumbling economy to the biblical legend of the locust swarm, Mabona created a sea of dollar bill locusts, caught in flight across one room of the exhibition.
Each of the locusts was made by meticulously folding uncut dollar bills. Without scissors, glue or adhesive, Mabona fashioned the rectangular specimens into detailed insects, complete with spanning wings, extended legs and antennae. The face of founding father George Washington is emblazoned on the locusts’ wings, as well as on each head. The swarm rises, and seems to fold itself from a row of flat currency lining the floor. Mabona created a gradation, showing his folding steps from dollar bill to insect.
Mabona’s other origami sculptures range from animals to abstract sculptures to functional lamps. The artist also exhibits his incredible vectorgraphics, so that others may see the intricacy that goes into folding his origami sculptures.
+ Sipho Mabona
Via My Modern Met