Jenna Milly on Monday, Dec. 12th
Moneygami is the art of folding currency into different creations. Japanese moneygami expert Yosuke Hasegawa has built a collection of ironic displays based on the folding techniques developed centuries ago with the art of origami. Turnstyle News caught up with Mr. Hasegawa to see what he had to say about this unique art form.
Turnstyle News: Where are you from?
Yosuke Hasegawa: I was born in Shizuoka Prefecture, but I live in Tokyo now.
Turnstyle News: How did you get started with the art form of folding money?
Yosuke Hasegawa: I saw origami made out of money by someone else, and I started by myself. Now, I have now about 400 kinds of original “moneygami” works.
Turnstyle News: What is your biggest challenge with this art form?
Yosuke Hasegawa: It is my dream, rather than challenge, to go around the world making origami with local money and to have my work exhibited as contemporary art at the MoMA in New York.
Turnstyle News: Are you able to make a living as a moneygami artist?
Yosuke Hasegawa: I am a CG illustrator, that is how I make my living. I wish I could live by only making moneygami.
Turnstyle News: Can you tell us about some of the reactions you had when you first started displaying your art?
Yosuke Hasegawa: Five years ago, when I just started making moneygami, my niece who received my moneygami as an “Otoshidama,” the Japanese custom of giving money to children on New Year’s Day, said, “You can’t play with money.”
Turnstyle News: What’s your advice to someone who wants to get into moneygami?
Yosuke Hasegawa: Be free and flexible. But be accurate and precise when you fold each line. If you keep these techniques in your mind, you will have nice work. Moneygami is a great way to express myself as I can make people laugh or be happy by using money. Of course, people can use money to pay for laughter or happiness, but what I’m doing is physically using money to make people happy -– I think it’s a brand new way to use money.
This story could not have been completed without translation and assistance from Japanese reporter Teiichi Matsumoto (email@example.com).