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Meet Artist Midori Furze


I deeply love Japan, although I've never been there yet! It is because my sister-in-law Mayumi is Japanese. I don't have a blood sister, and I consider Mayu, my sister. We are close. I have helped her improve her English, and she patiently teaches me Japanese. Mayu has shown me how beautiful the Japanese culture is.


I've had a couple of Japanese clients come through my website design business. One of them was Noriko (Sing Move Nihongo), and through Noriko, I came across an incredible Japanese artist, Midori Furze.


I reached out to Midori, and she generously shared her story and art with Sydney Chic. Enjoy!


 

Midori Furze

I have been a practising artist for more than 12 years and I have been running many community projects and workshops at various places. These include Art gallery of NSW, Powerhouse museum, Japan Foundation, Hazelhurst Art Centre, councils, schools, corporate and private functions. I started origami projects and workshops when I was a resident artist in Terrey Hills in 2010. The studio was next to the Ku-Ring-Gai National Park and we sometimes saw the native animals from our windows. I made some origami kangaroos and put them on my table in the studio.


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My main practice was painting at that time and I enjoyed painting. (And I still love it!) The art director was very excited when he saw my origami kangaroos. He encouraged me to do more origami. I was born and grew up in Japan. Many of my family members were masters of disciplines including calligraphy, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, Noh dancing and traditional musical instruments, such as koto, shamisen, tsuzumi & shakuhachi. I had more chances than any other classmates to be immersed in the traditions of Japanese culture at home. I also started piano lessons and painting lessons in the Western-style since I was a little girl, even before school age and I enjoyed them too. I played with origami when I was little and I liked it. But I wasn’t particularly interested in origami, there were many other interesting things to try and learn that time. I started receiving some enquiries about origami projects and workshops. I enjoyed origami more. Then, I saw the news about the East Japan Disaster in 2011. I was shocked to see the violent Tsunami waves destroying the land and buildings. I was devastated and wanted to do something for the people in Fukushima. I helped some Japanese charity groups in Sydney to raise money for Japan. I did some origami projects for them every year. I was awarded by the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney for my contribution toward Australia-Japan Friendship in 2017.

Midori Furze

There are a lot of different origami you can make and the joy of creating origami satisfies me. The origami history is amazing. Do you know the samurai(Japanese knights) had to learn origami for their ceremonies? Do you know that some samurai loads had their intricate origami to wrap their important letters? I was so excited to learn about origami history.

I also found that many origami techniques have been used, not only in designs and fashions but also in medical science and space science. The car airbags are origami. The heart stents are origami. Solar panels on the spaceships are origami. Isn’t it amazing? I dream that some children whom I teach origami, one day, they will be an expert and make amazing inventions. The research shows that origami is good for people in many ways. It helps children for developing their math and other skills. Origami is economical, lightweight and clean. Origami certainly gave me more opportunities to become a unique artist. I was selected to be a member of the art advisory group for the Warringah council. I was honoured to be invited to run the origami workshops by the Japanese Embassy in Canberra in 2017 and by the Japanese Embassy in Tonga in 2019. Now I have lived in Sydney longer than I had been in Japan, but my home country is still Japan and I am happy to be a Japanese artist in Sydney. My artwork is unique and original, it comes from my Japanese background. I use the calligraphy technique on canvas and I create art with the Japanese popular story of the Red string of fate. www.midorifurze.com Would you like to know what is my favourite origami? I love paper cranes.



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