Family is the ongoing core of our life story. We’re born into a family, receive our values from this family, plan our lives either in line with or in reaction to those values. Either way, parents, siblings, grandparents and cousins exert a profound effect over the way we see the world and operate in it.
The origami paper collage can show the way you see family dynamics and how the dynamics influence the way you see yourself anew in a more expansive, generous loving way. Revising an ingrained perspective can be very tough when you work at changing your thinking. But magically feelings melt into something new and softer when art is the medium of change.



It’s very simple: start by choosing origami colors, one for each family member that you wish to explore in your collage. Choose different hues for each family member. Include yourself and everyone else in your immediate family. Cut a corner of each paper and label on the back the name of that family member. From hereon, your pink origami paper isn’t just a pink piece of paper. If you’ve written your name on the back its now become you, and how you choose to cut and paste this pink piece of paper is going to show you quite a bit about how you see yourself in the context of family.

Positioning, size, overlapping, detail, patterning, intricacy of each origami paper is more than a symbolic expression of how you see family members. It is a portrait of the way you see family that has one great advantage over talking about your family: with collage, you can change the way the imagery appears (and thus the family appears to you) by redesigning the imagery.

After making the collage you turn over a card and start comparing what you’ve made with the colors, forms, objects, themes and label on that card. Can the colors of each family member be found on the selected card? Is one color prominent? If so check which family member is ‘coloring’ the family dynamic with her or his energy? Or is a shape prominent on your collage also there in the selected card?

The beauty of working with small slips of cut paper is that the data we receive about each member comes through creative intuitive decisions that can be redesigned if you get an uneasy feeling about their placement. Just peel off a colored paper and reshape it or delete it.

Or notice on your selected card an element that calls your attention. For instance: are colors overlapping (relatives in close symbiotic relationships)? Are origami papers placed far apart? (family members distant from one another?) Are origami papers touching each other (feelings of closness)? Do origami papers interlock like puzzle pieces (recognizing family members differences but interconnection). What about the size of the origami paper?
Origami Collage Art Supplies: base paper, glue, scissors, origami paper in wide variety of coors

The next origami family collage will take place at my home studio on Sunday March 25 from 2 pm to 4 pm in Setagaya. ¥3,000 per family member. Space is limited so please contact me early to reserve your space.