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Simply mesmerising stuff: NTU student Low Zi Hao takes the art of kirigami to another level. Videos: Instagram/@zhlowart_official

We Can't Stop Looking At This Guy's Kinetic Sculptures

For most of us in our 20s, we would have found our hobbies or passions by now. Common ones: reading, exercising, gaming. If you’re thinking, sian, I need something new to do, then we recommend exploring the fascinating world of kinetic kirigami (moving paper sculptures), just like Low Zi Hao has.

The second-year student at NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media (majoring in Product Design and Interactive Media) has gone viral on Reddit with his incredible creations made entirely from paper. And – get this – some of them are made with no tape or glue.

In between folding, cutting and creating, the 22-year-old lets us in on this cool but super time-consuming art form – and how COVID-19 had a part to play in his fascination with it.

This stuff is damn cool lah! How long does it take you to create one piece?

The process of kirigami is very time-consuming but enjoyable. Some pieces can take up to 28 hours of work while others, just 2 hours. The average time I spend on a piece is around 12 hours. A personal goal of mine is to create a new piece of work every week. The works you see on my Instagram were created within a span of 4 months, excluding my other kirigami pieces. 

What got you into it?

My Year 1 professor who taught my class for Form and Visualisation Module inspired me to continue on this path of exploration. One of her assignments was to create a wearable product based on a randomly selected body part. The assignment really engaged the artistic side of me and challenged me to think in a different direction. 

Also, I am fascinated by the structure of a cube and I noticed that I have always been dealing with it on a 2D level for many years. However in March this year, I was introduced to a traditional art medium known as origami. Origami is essentially the manipulation of a 2D plane into something three-dimensional using paper. 

Did COVID-19 have anything to do with this?

Yah! Due to the global pandemic and lockdown in April, we all had to stay home. The shops were all closed and the only material I had ready available at home was paper! I ended up venturing deeper into this art style of origami and later on, kirigami.

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