Two and a half years folding one piece of paper 5,377 times

Two and a half years folding one piece of paper 5,377 times, the Generation 2020 Exhibition, Amos Rex, Helsinki, Juho Konkkola

Source: Johu Konkkola

A Finish origami artist has achieved what many of us would describe as the greatest show of patience, spending two and a half years folding one piece of paper. The project, which took 109 hours, required the paper to be folded 5,377 times to create his most elaborate and daunting piece of work “Duelling Knights”.
Juho Konkkola said of the finished piece that shows two sword-wielding knights engaged in battle: “It was huge accomplishment; it is the greatest work I have done so far.”
Describing origami as a “very therapeutic process” he says he often does it “mindlessly without thinking that much.”
The finished work involved zero cuts and zero tears but required 5,377 folds beforehand, and if unfolded it would revert back to a square piece of paper.
“In June 2019 I was talking with an art curator about my display for the Generation 2020 Exhibition in Amos Rex, Helsinki,” Mr Konkkola said.
“We were talking about putting the origami figures to fight each other and that gave me the idea – would it be possible with just one sheet of paper instead of two?
“(It was) a big relief that I didn’t tear the paper in the process or fail the piece.
“The last moments were getting quite scary when finishing. I was quite tired and I was really excited to share it with people.”
Responding to the more than 150,000 likes on social media site Reddit, he said: “It is always a delight to see people show their interest or appreciation, it motivates me to keep on going.
“At the same time, it is quite exhausting to go through thousands of comments, despite being overwhelmingly positive.”
Mr Konkkola, who has been creating origami figures for 15 years, said: “The part that really stuck in my mind was posing the characters,” he said. “I really had to plan that part a lot before doing a single fold because one single mistake could have ruined the piece.
“Once I had (a) thorough idea how the poses worked, I had to commit to them, because I couldn’t have gone back if it didn’t create the vision I was looking for.
“Some of the smallest details are in millimetres so the sheet needed to be folded very precisely, and it was a fun challenge to have a try at that with just fingers and a toothpick.
“Also, I folded the paper so long that it already started wearing from the stress it got from the folding. The paper fibres started to peel off from the paper.”
When asked what he learned spending two and a half years folding one piece,  Mr Konkkola said: “It showed me the limits of my patience. I was close to giving up many times during the process.
“This is about as difficult as origami gets at the moment… but there is only one way to find out if I can make anything more difficult than this. Maybe we will see that next year.”

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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at