Thursday Salute to Originals: Folding Light and Shadows

San Francisco artist crafts intricate textured lighting fixtures from paper.

San Francisco-based artist Zai Divecha crafts ornamental lighting installations by folding, pleating or rolling sheets of white paper. Starting with a single intricate form or pattern, the paper sculptor will repeat the original “unit” hundreds to thousands of times. Each finished piece casts interesting shadows when illuminated.

More than decorative origami, Divecha folds deeper meanings into her work. For example, four of the artist’s creations visually represent HIV and AIDS diagnoses in San Francisco from 1992 to 2018. Each contains cut flaps to visualize the number of cases.

Constant themes of calmness, reflection and focus are present throughout the artist’s various series, drawing inspiration from the simplistic feature of white paper.

“The all-white palette allows me to create pattern and texture with just light and shadow alone, which feels soothing to me. I aim to create work that makes people feel centered, quiet and focused,” said Divecha in a public statement.

This Thursday, we’re saluting Zai Divecha’s folded paper creations. You can view more examples on the artist’s website or Instagram.

Sources: Zai Divecha, This is Colossal