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Local Artist Hiroshi Hayakawa Releases Latest Origami Book

Aimee Hancock Aimee Hancock Local Artist Hiroshi Hayakawa Releases Latest Origami Book
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Local artist and associate professor at Columbus College of Art and Design, Hiroshi Hayakawa, is set to release his new book on August 5th, titled “Paper Monsters and Curious Creatures.”

Hayakawa previously created three other books, his first having been released in 2009. All four books consist of detailed lessons on how to create various paper craft animals and creatures.

Hayakawa was born and raised in Japan. He said his interest in and love of art began when he was a child.

“I was interested in all kinds of art and when I was small, I used to make origami animals and insects,” Hayakawa said.

While his parents were supportive of his hobby, having bought young Hayakawa a number of books about paper craft, they were less enthusiastic about him entering the field of art as a career.

“I hadn’t had any formal art education when I was in Japan,” Hayakawa said. “I wanted to study art, especially ceramics in the traditional Japanese art, but my parents didn’t like it.”

Hayakawa attended Keio University in Tokyo where he earned a BA in French Literature. He then landed a job as a computer systems engineer. It didn’t take long before he came to the realization that he did not enjoy this line of work.

“One day I met this guy who used to teach ceramics at CCAD,” Hayakawa said, “and I told him I was interested in art and wasn’t enjoying what I was doing and he said ‘Why don’t you quit the job and move to the US?’”

Which is exactly what Hayakawa did. He made the trip to America in 1991 and began schooling at CCAD where he earned BFAs in Fine Arts and Photography. After graduating from CCAD, Hayakawa earned his MFA in Photography at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.

While attending CCAD, Hayakawa worked at the university’s library. It was through this job he began honing his paper craft skills by request of a former head librarian.

“Every year she had this Chinese New Year party and she wanted to have something to decorate her dinner table so she told me to make cute little paper animals so she could put them on the tables,” Hayakawa said.

Hayakawa continued making these paper animals for the party each year. Those around him took notice of his talent and began urging him to make a book.

“I approached Lark Books and sent some samples and they really liked it,” Hayakawa said, “so that’s how we started.”

While paper craft is certainly not a new art form, Hayakawa said his style of crafting has unique features that set it apart from other forms.

“I was going through many paper craft books, but I didn’t see anything like mine—the combination of paper cutting and folding techniques,” he said. “So I thought maybe there is an interesting market here.”

Hayakawa’s paper craft books teach readers how to make paper animals, ranging in intricacy, including owls, peacocks and various types of dogs.

Yet, however intricate the designs may seem, Hayakawa said the processes are far from difficult.

“The techniques you use to make this are pretty simple; either folding, scoring, cutting and that’s pretty much it,” he said.

Aside from Hayakawa’s paper craft endeavors, he is also an associate professor at CCAD, where he has been teaching since 1999. Here he regularly teaches photography courses.

“It is my primary profession but I don’t really see it as a career,” Hayakawa said of teaching. “I just love doing it. I get inspired by the students; it’s a mutual relationship.”

Aside from his interest in photography and paper craft, Hayakawa enjoys drawing and kinetic sculpture. He has held artistic workshops at the Bexley Public Library and displays his projects at the Asian Festival each year.

Hayakawa said he is working on putting together an art show for sometime next year where he hopes to exhibit 10 drawing projects and 10 photography pieces.

Visit www.hiroshi-hayakawa.com to view some of Hayakawa’s work and to purchase copies of his published craft books.

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