Origami: Living World

National Museum of History


The true origin of origami or paper folding is still a mystery. We might say, since paper was invented in the Han China, paper folding is reasonably originated in China. However, some scholars speculate the art of origami was applied on textile way before paper was invented. In fact, reading through relevant literatures, it is more probable that origami in its modern form was originated in Japan.

Like many art forms, origami began as part of religious rites and folk customs: offerings in paper folding, wrapping of gifts, and arrangement of dining vessels. Since 16th Century, origami began to take part in recreation and entertainment. After 17th Century, literature recorded the origami form of cranes and ships, still common today.

The art of paper folding developed independently in the West before 19th Century. As early as in the 18th Century, French educators utilized paper folding in school curriculum for children. In 19th Century, German educator Friedrich Froebel promoted similar concepts and founded a school teaching children math with paper folding. Similar concepts were introduced to Japan and other nations. Japanese biochemist Kazuo Haga integrated origami with math lessons and successfully making origami part of middle school curriculum.

Paper transforms human civilization. Knowledge can be kept on paper; artistic expression find a new base. Origami or paper folding uses a piece of paper to create and interpret. Techniques of paper folding fully utilize the relationship between geometric forms and 3D space. This is the base of modern technology; designs of airplanes, mobile phones, and household electronics all begin with creating models. This is the essence of origami.

They would like to express their appreciation to curator Dr. Bernie Peyton for inviting many famous international artists of origami to present their works. They also want to thank Prof. Alex Yu from Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University for his plenty assistances. This exhibition not only present and promote the art of origami but also stimulate visitor's imagination and creativity.

When: 5 Feb - 17 Aprl 2016 10:00-18:00
Where: National Museum of History


National Museum of History

49 Nan Hai Road, Taipei City, Taiwan
Taipei City TPE 10066


The"National Museum of Historical Artifacts and Fine Arts" was established in a Japanese style building near the Taipei Botanical Garden in 1955. It was renamed the"National Museum of History" (hereafter, "NMH") in 1956 and the building was renovated in a five-floor traditional Chinese Ming and Qing palace style, with four floors for exhibition and staff offices, and one floor for storage. Despite its limited space, the NMH is renowned for its international exhibitions, and its proactive and innovative museum development and educational programs. Various conversions of the building have been carried out over the years to adapt it as a modern space fit for the newest exhibition facilities and requirements.

The NMH's collection originally consisted of artifacts from the Henan Museum that were relocated to Taiwan in 1949, and of relics recovered from the Japanese after the Sino-Japanese War. The collection included the bronzes unearthed in Xinzheng, Hui and Anyang (in Henan Province), Pre-Qin pottery unearthed in Loyang, Han green-glazed pottery, the dancer and musician figurines of the Six Dynasties, Tang tri-colored pottery and other treasures. The arrival of allocated artifacts and donations from private collectors gradually enriched the Museum's collection and enlarged its archives.

The museum collections continued to grow with annual acquisitions obtained with government procurement budget allocations and donations from private collectors. The annual acquisitions provided the museum with artifacts and relics from mainland China, Taiwan, and other countries. The collections date back to the Neolithic period and the ancient Chinese dynasties Shang, Zhou, Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing, up to the contemporary era.

As an institution concerned with the preservation of cultural artifacts and with social education, a museum has a long-term, innate worth and a function as a hallmark of culture. The International Council of Museums has identified three missions for a museum: Educate, Entertain and Enrich (the 3Es). As an institution, a museum should achieve its social mission through collection, research, exhibition and education. As far as the public's needs are concerned, the modern museum should strive to improve its capacity to communicate with visitors. A museum is concerned with spreading knowledge, and a place where people wish to communicate sincerely and provide visitors with poetic experiences.
The National Museum of History has established a solid visitor base by organizing many special exhibitions. The museum will continue to bring in international exhibitions to enrich visitors' cultural vision. In addition, the museum will consider how to reemphasize its fundamental features by confirming its orientation and functions and clarifying the distinctions between it and the National Palace Museum, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the National Museum of Taiwan History. It is expected that the National Museum of History will positively establish its own features, hone its staff's research and exhibition planning skills, develop a unique permanent exhibition and distinctive educational activities, and enhance its capacity to operate on a sustainable footing. Building on that foundation, it will bring its specialization into play both at home and abroad, to become a first-class international museum.

A history museum is an important institution in the writing of the history and the construction of the discourses of a nation. The National Museum of History is expected to become an open field for interpreting the history of a living museum. Its visitors will therefore no longer be passive recipients of history, but people who can actively judge and discuss history together.
Esteem for the collection and consideration for the people are the ultimate concerns of the museum enterprise. A museum should strive to develop its collections and pursue the interests of visitors. We hope to enable the public to become more familiar with museums and develop an interests in and esteem for areas of museum specialization. A museum should also avoid being a political vassal or a part of a commercial machine. In this spirit, museums in Taiwan will become true cultural organizations with 3E functions.

Chinese Address

Taipei City TPE 10066


Origami: Living World
Start Date: 
Friday, February 5, 2016 - 10:00
End Date: 
Sunday, April 17, 2016 - 18:00