HK Magazine: When did you get into origami? Kade Chan: There wasn’t much to do before I discovered my passion for origami—I just studied, studied, studied. Expectations were high for students like me who studied at local public schools—there was a lot of schoolwork. So when I started making origami as an ordinary 12-year-old, I devoted all my time to making origami, and that actually made my grades suffer. HK: What do you find appealing about it? KC: Folding paper comes with a strict set of rules. You’re only allowed to use one sheet of paper, no cutting or gluing. When I learned that, I became fascinated and wanted to learn the process of turning a two-dimensional thing into a three-dimensional product. It seemed magical to me as a kid. I began earning money from shopping malls that wanted to display my origami and now I earn a stable income from installations, YouTube tutorials and events. HK: What’s a common misconception about origami? KC: The production of origami is 30 percent actual folding, and 70 percent research. It’s not easy: first, I have to research the ratios, proportions, and different measurements of the origami figure that I’m creating. For example, if I’m folding a 3D dog, I have to do extensive research because the proportions of different figures are unique—for the front legs, hind legs, everything has to be precise. Then I have to draw outlines on paper and make amendments before I can start folding. It takes more than 10 hours and lots of patience. HK: Which origami model do is the most representative of your work? KC: The Alien—I made it as an ode to its [original artist] H.R. Giger, who passed away. I used 57 pieces of paper, and it took me a month to construct. Then I sent it to the film company so they could use it for advertisement purposes. HK: How do people respond to your origami? KC: Most of the people who like my origami are foreigners. They are impressed with the detail and intricacy that I can bring with just a piece of paper. The value of my origami is high overseas—I can sell a piece for several hundred thousand dollars. Whereas in Hong Kong, people look at the surface, the materials used to make the product. They don’t consider my origami to be art. To them, it’s just a piece of paper. The value is very low. People are too busy to stop and appreciate art and their surroundings. HK: Do you have any passions other than origami? KC: I’m a collector of Katana swords from Japan. The most recent addition to my collection is a 46-inch sword. I keep them all in my home. I used to have two turtles, but they passed away. There’s a Chinese saying that placing knives in your home can kill the inhabitants. So according to the superstition, the knives killed the pets. HK: Any advice for aspiring origami artists? KC: The most important thing to do is to work hard and not give up. My teachers told me that if you persist on developing your passion for 10 years, you’ll become an expert. As I persisted and became better at origami, people started appreciating my work. Next year will mark the 10th year of my journey. Check out more of Kade Chan’s origami creations at www.kadechan.com or www.youtube.com/user/kcorigami .