Shin Tanaka brings Japanese traditions to Causeway Bay's Fashion Walk

Compiled by John Kang

The trendy strip's latest collaboration brings the traditional art of origami into the 21st century

Compiled by John Kang |

Latest Articles

Coronavirus: What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

#MoreViralThanTheVirus warns that students are not immune to Covid-19

Hong Kong's first month under the national security law

‘Dangerous Remedy’ book review: a fascinating tale of the French revolution - with a supernatural twist

Junior reporters Christy Cheung (left) and Lala Chan try their hand at origami.

Lady Gaga and Karl Lagerfeld are just two of the famous names Japanese origami artist Shin Tanaka worked with during his career.

Tanaka visited Fashion Walk, the public art showcase in Causeway Bay, where he designed a giant mascot called "Fashion Walker".

Young Post's junior reporters were invited to meet the artist and learn how to make the character using origami techniques. This is what they thought ...

Sticking to the plan

We were given a 2D paper toy model with working sequences, which included procedures of cutting, gluing and folding. Although it sounds simple to make, it was challenging to integrate the different parts of the model into a complete toy.

Looking at the gigantic model displayed in front of us, we could not help but admire Tanaka's effort. While making the paper toy, we realised that accuracy and patience are of utmost importance in making a flawless creation - the edges have to be cut meticulously and there are also multiple steps that have to be carefully followed.

When we finished making the paper toy, our fingers may have been covered with dried glue, but we were overwhelmed with joy. The resulting product was an innovative mascot, wearing a cap with an "F" and "W", which stands for "Fashion Walk". The mascot also had stripes, which is a popular pattern in Japan, according to Tanaka.

Looking at our finished paper toy, we were curious as to why Tanaka chose to specialise in origami and paper toys out of all the other art forms. He told us that unlike drawing, painting, or even graffiti, origami paper toys are three-dimensional, and that requires much more creativity and effort.

Renee Chan, Lala Chan and Minnie Yip

Japanese origami artist Shin Tanaka creates "Fashion Walker". Photo: Fashion Walk


Folding under the pressure

After some cutting and gluing, and a fair bit of frustration, an awkward-looking paper doll wearing an oversized hat was finally born from my hands. Nevertheless, I was quite proud of my finished product - it's a wonderful feeling to create a figure with nothing but a piece of paper.

The entire process looked simple, as the only tool you need is your hands, but the skill and level of concentration that was required almost had me calling it quits a couple of times. To perfect the shape and formation of the doll, I had to follow the instructions carefully, making sure the paper flaps were stuck together and no pieces were hanging loose.

Being someone whose biggest crafting accomplishment was the stick figure I drew in third grade, I had a bit of trouble doing everything and keeping a clear and irritation-free head, but in the end, I succeeded in producing the toy.

I was fascinated by the design of the paper toy created by renowned Japanese origami artist, Shin Tanaka - the doll has an unusual shape, with a huge cap and a small body. I was also interested in Tanaka's artistic career because it is not every day we see someone doing origami professionally.

Talking to the artist, I found out that he used to write graffiti on walls, which was seen as vandalism, so Tanaka found another outlet for his creativity - through origami. In this collaboration, he combines sharp and soft shapes to represent Fashion Walk's high-quality, trend-setting clothes, and the paper doll design is both modern and impressive.

Christy Cheung


Fashion Walk is open until August 30, you can find more information here.