The Flowering Spirit

Made by Di Wang

Use origami and paper cutting to depict the serene and sorrowful melody in "The Flowering Spirit"

Created: October 16th, 2016



I intend to use basic origami (paper cutting and folding) skills to depict the serene and sorrowful melody in "The Flowering Spirit". The music is the orchestral version of a song called 風姿花伝 (The Flowering Spirit) by 谷村新司 (Shinji Tanimura). I became attracted to the tone when I first listened to it at a young age, when watching a Japanese TV series with this song as the theme. Therefore I am motivated to re-create and visualize the muci in this project.



I created a physical representation of the music by mainly making three parts of origami: the two peach blossoms, the stem that holds the two blossoms, and the snowflake that encompasses the picture. The snowflake represents the cruelness and apathy of nature, and the blossoms represent vividness and vitality of life. The fact that they are connected and pointing to different directions means that life is hard, but we should strive on as the blossoms in the winter.

All these items are made with printing paper, which is not as ideal for origami as other forms of paper, but is definitely the most accessible. I cannot find glue, so the disjoint pieces are put on a large sheet of paper, with some on top of others. The coloring is done using watercolor, courtesy of a friend. 

風姿花伝 by Di Wang
Di Wang -


The idea of origami was mainly inspired by the discussion of my friend Tian Zhao, who is also in this course. We briefly exchanged ideas of this project, and she told me that it is possible to use 3D-printing to visualize music. Then I thought of the idea of actually making the forms myself, similar to painting. 

As said earlier, the music is quite attractive to the listeners, in that the slow tempo and serene tone make the audience identify with the music.

I looked at a tutorial to fold pieces of paper into different shapes, and then use a pair of scissors to cut through them. Then I tried to color the pieces with highlighters, but it was not esthetically appealing at all. Then I decided to borrow watercolor from a friend. It turned out to be much better than the first version.  



"The Flowering Spirit" can be interpreted in many distinct ways, but the picture that strikes me upon hearing it is the flowers that bloom even in the winters. The slow rhythm is captured by the snowflake and whiteness of the background, and the liveliness is captured by the blossoms. 

I learned that it's important to use good materials when creating a physical project. Also, refining skills is crucial. It is easily seen that my coloring and origami skills are not perfect, which might make it esthetically less appealing. However, it captures the idea of the music.

If I were to do it in more than 2 hours, I would have added more things, such as flower petals, wind, and cloud in the background. The current project seems to have too much blank space.

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62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

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New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers a...more


Use origami and paper cutting to depict the serene and sorrowful melody in "The Flowering Spirit"