You can make money out of art if you’re good enough, but can you make art out of money? A Korean-American origami artist does it, and yes, he makes money out of his money art!
Unlike most artists or hobbyists, Korean-American origami artist Won Park uses dollar bills instead of the usual origami paper to create interesting and intricate works of art. He has folded money into many amazing pieces, including an SLR camera, which even the camera-loving Mijonju got enticed into making using a Yen bank note!
In a recent interview with Career Changers TV, the Honolulu-based artist said that he got started with origami when he was six years old, having just emigrated to the United States from Korea with his family. Since his mother couldn’t afford buying him a lot of toys, she would entertain him by cutting old phone book pages into squares and teach him origami. He enjoyed making folded art even as he got older, and started learning from origami books to hone his craft.
He was a junior high school student when the defining moment came. “I was in one of my Math classes, and I wanted to fold something, but I had no paper. I took out a dollar bill from my back pocket and I started to play with it. And I realized that, ‘wow, this dollar bill paper is really, really good for folding,’” he said.
Just as he was getting hooked with origami using money, Park found out that not a lot of origami artists were doing it, and those who do, only make simple ones. So, he kept experimenting and refining his own origami style, doing so only as a hobby—until around 2002, when a New York-based origami artist saw him folding and encouraged him to come to the Big Apple and show his unique work.
Since then, Park has been making money, out of art out of money. Many of his very first commissioned works featured in several books, magazines, and publications. Today, aside from busying himself with individual commissions and full-scale work, he recently published his own book entitled Dollar Origami containing 10 origami projects, including the popular dollar koi fish.
Take a look at some of his most recent origami pieces, some of which have a touch of color from bills of other currencies!
Do you know of any analogue art or analogue oriental finds? Check out our requested posts for January!