From inside

2009 – Kusudama – sketch for sculptural project – modular sculpture in aluminum- diameter 180 cm


Sfera medicinale – Medicinal Sphere

by Chiara Pellegrini

… “it was time to let everithing resurface again…”

Kusudama originate from ancient Japanese culture and is a paper model usually created by sewing multiple identical pyramidal units to form a spherical shape. Kusudamas, originally made with herbs and flowers, were hanged outside the house door to keep away evil spirits and illnesses. The word Kusudama is in fact a combination of two Japanese terms: Kusuri, meaning “medicine” and Tama, meaning “sphere”.

Kusudama enters human’s life as a gift, an element used in ceremonies. Ancient models represent abstract forms enriched by symbolic and ritual meanings and echo the traditional origami art. They are also partly similar, in their use, to the ex voto in catholic culture.

First origami creations, called go-hei, were simple paper strips folded in geometric forms, hanged to a thread or put on top of a wooden stick, used to delimit sacred areas.

The origins of origami and Kusudama are to be found in the Shintoist principles of vital cycle and acceptation of death as part of a whole.

“Through this kind of thought we can see reality more deeply because it can distinguish any object in its previous and future forms.”

My work is based on this premise: to see how something becomes something else.

I analyzed several forms, starting from the simplest ones. I realized that the transformation starts from a deconstruction process: folding, passage steps like armors supporting a thought in which:

… everything is constantly changing (as the ancient Greeks said) and the only constant of  reality is mutation (as the Chinese said thousands of years ago). Hope, as abstraction ability, as transformation, resembles to a fold: “just like a folded paper sheet that can produce many different images, a thing give birth to another”

This project was selected for the art contest “Cura e Speranza” (“Cure and Hope”) held by the Milan’s Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital for the designing, creation and purchase of a sculpture or installation to be displayed at the Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital in Ospedale Maggiore square.

The work of art, respectful of the hospital contest and in harmony with the architectural contest, had to develop the theme of the importance of hope in a healthcare environment for the cure of diseases.

The contest was divided in two phases. In the first one the judging committee selected 10 artists inviting them to present their projects, in the second one the winner was chosen.

On October 23rd 2009 the winning piece of art was awarded at Palazzo Marino, Milan’s Town Hall, and the selected projects were displayed in an exhibition at Loggia dei Mercanti, Mercanti’s Square, in Milan, before being permanently placed in the new hospital’s building.

Technical features:

My modular sculpture is made of 12 identical flowers with a 125 cm diameter, held together to form a single spherical form with a 180 cm diameter.

The 12 elements are made of a double metal sheet (probably semi-raw aluminum) cut (with laser” and folded.

The prototype is in polycarbonate and measures 60 cm in diameter.

Created in: 2009

Quote from “A Sun for the Dying” by Jean-Claude Izzo

Quote from “ Origami e creatività” by Bruno Munari, Milan, April 8th 1987

The art and the senses
Every means has its limits:
the music is blind,
the painting is silent
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