Yes, all these origami cranes were folded from ONE sheet of paper!

Paula Pietranera renzuru folded crane and sumi-e art "Stillness in Motion"
Paula Pietranera, “Stillness in Movement

I don’t know about you, but I have to lie down and rest after wrestling one square of origami paper into a crane, let alone folding hundreds, none bigger than a quarter and all connected because they’re made from a single sheet of paper!

Paula Pietranera renzuru folded crane and sumi-e art "Deep"
What sorcery is this? (Paula Pietranera, “Deep“)

The insane art of renzuru has been practiced in Japan since the 1700s, but Argentinian artist Paula Pietranera is taking it to a whole new level.

Paula Pietranera folding renzuru cranes

Not only is each one satisfyingly perfect, Pietranera trained in sumi-e painting as well as renzuru, so the interconnected birds are mounted on backgrounds that are works of art in themselves.

Paula Pietranera renzuru folded crane and sumi-e art "Gaze"
If you’ve ever examined a Japanese scroll painting, you’ll know that the mounting is as much a part of the art as the work it enhances. This symbiotic relationship is taken a step further in works like Paula Pietranera’s “Gaze,” which pairs an ink painting that could easily stand on its own with the meticulously folded cranes

Naturally, in typical Japanese style, the closer you look, the more beautiful it becomes

Detail of Paula Pietranera renzuru folded crane and sumi-e art "Deep"
Paula Pietranera, “Gaze” detail

The cranes, the formation in which they’re arranged, and the background all come together to express an idea that is greater than the sum of its parts.


“Think the fold. Be the fold. Forget the fold. 

Everything in my art is about interconnectedness … coming alive, like a dreamcatcher that lures the true self to a place of deep intimacy. The closeness of this connection is what inspires me, because intimate togetherness with oneself, with others, and with the world can be our deepest yearning and also our biggest fear.

—Artist Paula Pietranera

Pietranera’s new work takes this idea even further, as the painting and cranes fade in and out of each other, interacting in whole new ways. Scroll down slowly to soak up the goodness of this new piece entitled “Whisper“…

Paula Pietranera renzuru folded crane and sumi-e art "Whisper"
Paula Pietranera, “Whisper”

I know you’re asking where you can see these gorgeous wonders, and if you live within driving distance of San Francisco, it’s your lucky day! An exhibition of Paula Pietranera’s latest work will open next week:

Exhibition name: CONNECTION

Dates: 11/3 — 11/6, 2022
Opening/Reception: Friday 11/4, 5:00pm-8:00pm

Hours: 9:30am to 7:00pm

Location: San Francisco Zen Center’s Conference Center
308 Page Street, San Francisco

Admission: Free

Special bonus: The artist will be on hand throughout the exhibition to answer questions and talk about her work.

If you’re geographically challenged, you can still enjoy the fabulousness and see her work on her website.

Artist Paula Pietranera
Artist Paula Pietranera

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
 The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it…read more

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Published by Jonelle Patrick

Writes all the Japan things.

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