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This guy’s beautiful origami cranes will blow you away – and so will the reason behind them

Cristian Marianciuc built 1,000 paper cranes over 1,000 days.

What was meant to be a 100-day project of transforming paper into beautiful origami cranes turned out to be much more than that for artist Cristian Marianciuc.

The Romanian-born translator created 1,000 cranes out of paper over 1,000 days, documenting it all through his “icarus.mid.air” Instagram page and building up quite a following in the process.

“Since then, I have not stopped folding, but this time, no longer on a daily basis,” he said.

“wings to start again” Song of the day: Burns by George FitzGerald @georgefitzmusic This is the third and final piece of my latest mini-series. And in the spirit of what I’ve done with the previous two ones, I would like to dedicate today’s crane to those of you who want or who are going through new beginnings: a new job, a new place, new friends, new challenges, even maybe moving to a new country. I have experienced all these things in the past few weeks. May you be at peace, whatever your situation! And if you need a moment of serenity, I recommend wholeheartedly that you sit down and fold one or more simple, paper cranes. You’ll understand what I mean once you give it a try! x #origami #icarusmidair

A post shared by Cristian Marianciuc (@icarus.mid.air) on

“This was to be a daily, visual diary.

“I would fold and decorate at least one crane every single day and somehow encapsulate the essence of that particular day in it, so that, if I were to look back at any of them, I would be able to remember at least one thing about that day.

“I had become so attached to this daily ritual that 100 days became 365 and 365 days became 1,000 (as a nod to the Japanese tradition of ‘senbazuru’ or folding 1,000 paper cranes).

“On the 27th of September of 2017 I successfully folded, decorated and shared my 1,000th crane.”

But even after that marathon was complete, the 28-year-old has continued with his models.

Cristian’s obsession with Japanese art came after taking a course in his first year of university in Sydney, and returned to Europe with a passion for paper folding.

“I am fascinated by Japanese culture and the idea that you can create something 3D from a simple sheet of paper. I took inspiration from the story of Sadako Sasaki and I wanted to pay tribute to one of my sisters, who also passed away from leukaemia some years ago.

“I was drawn by the symbolism behind the classic crane model: it is a symbol of peace and serenity, and I believe that I was craving these things in the months leading up to actually starting my project.”

Sasaki was two years old when America dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. She survived, but later developed leukaemia due to radiation exposure.

While in hospital she was introduced to the Japanese legend that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes is granted a wish by the gods.

It’s unclear whether she managed to reach 1,000 before her death, with some accounts stating that she completed 644 and her classmates finished the rest for her.

Cristian said that due to the personal reasons he associates with folding the cranes, he’s not sure he’ll ever stop.

“It is a way of dealing with my struggles creatively. And I am certain that anyone who has given origami a chance will attest to how therapeutic it is. For me, it is a way of meditating and of translating what happens around me.”

"how I create" crane

#822“how I create” crane#WHPhowicreateSong of the day: Falling short by Låpsley I am happy to share with you a not-too-complicated crane and the creative process involved in bringing it to life.I have used the wilted cherry plum blossoms which you can see, fresh, on the wings of one of my previous cranes.Enjoy!I am off to make myself some lunch! x#icarusmidair #origami #mixedmedia #floral #flowers #blossom #wilted #process #wip #howicreate #whphowicreate

Posted by Icarus.mid.air on Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Somerset resident usually works as an interpreter and translator, but is taking time off to care for his father who’s undergoing cancer treatment.

Eventually he hopes to be able to make a living out of his cranes, but for now is selling some and taking commissions through Etsy.

He’s used flowers, wire, clay, wax and even cement on his cranes, but paper is always his favourite.

“There is something fascinating about its fragility but also its strength,” he said.

And as for his favourite? It’s understandably very difficult to say.

“Their meaning lies beyond their appearance,” he said.

“To quote a dear friend of mine, talking about my cranes – ‘beauty isn’t their purpose, their purpose is to heal’. Many a day, a simple, undecorated crane affected me more than one on which I spent six or seven hours.”

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