Finnish origami artist Juho Könkkölä went viral on Reddit for sharing his intricate artwork featuring armored knights and samurais made out of folded papers.
Könkkölä, who goes by the handle u/jkonkkola_art on the social media platform, shared a collection of his work on the subreddit r/BeAmazed on Thursday, where he has received over 21,000 upvotes and more than 324 comments on his post.
“For the last 4 years I have been designing and folding origami figures, and this picture has a collection of them from the last 3 years,” the Finnish artist, who is based in Jyväskylä, Finland, wrote in the comments.
“Each of those figures [is] folded from just one square sheet of paper without any cutting, tearing, or adding additional paper. The dueling knights in the middle are an exception since both of them are folded from the same sheet of paper, same goes with the character riding the dragon.”
Speaking to NextShark, Könkkölä says he first started doing origami as “a young kid.” He shares, “One of the first origami experiences I remember was a magazine that had instructions for a cat head. And after that, I borrowed an origami book from the local library.”
Könkkölä, who took up art in the Finnish city Tornio and mainly studied photography and digital art (including digital painting and 3D modeling), has been doing origami for 15 to 20 years and claims to have learned the artform all on his own.
“At first I just folded origami for my own enjoyment and to spend time. I wasn’t expecting myself to become anything like this,” he says, adding that he started designing his own figures in February 2018, at which point, “things got a little out of hand.”
Könkkölä estimates simple projects can take a few weeks to finish, while the more complex ones requiring planning can take several years.
“I have a list of ideas to keep in mind for a long time before I decide to start working on them,” Könkkölä explains. “Sometimes they need me to figure out some new way to fold them. The folding usually takes between 40-50 hours to fold. The Dueling Knights, the most complicated piece of all those, that has two figures folded from one sheet of paper, took me [two and a half] years from idea to finished piece, and the folding took 109 hours.”
Könkkölä’s works have been featured in several international exhibits, including the Homo Faber Event in Venice, Italy in April. His work is currently on display at the Small is Beautiful Art exhibition in London and, if things go well, may appear in other countries in the future, the artist says.
Könkkölä also plans to host virtual events down the road for those who would like to learn how to do simple origami.
For those who would like to begin their journey in the Japanese art of folding paper, Könkkölä suggests it is best to learn from origami books rather than video tutorials on the internet.
“The books let you figure the process more on your own, and will prepare for the more difficult models better,” he explained. “Also it is much more comfortable to fold more difficult models from larger paper since you don’t have to fiddle with tiny creases. I can fold details that are a few millimeters small, but someone starting out may not have the patience and dexterity to work on that small scale.”
Feature Image via @jkonkkola_origami