Intrepid, the paper boat
Katja Galyuk

Intrepid, the paper boat

Ah, the paper boat. Along with the hat and the crane, it’s the world’s most folded origami object. Ridiculously simple (although, how do you start? Oh yes, the fold in the middle) and immediately recognizable, for young and old. An iconic image, with a lower point in the middle, and the front and rear high and safe. The boat is often seen as a source of comfort during uncertain and turbulent times, despite its frail and non- water resistant material. Take the wishing boat for those who leave for a long time or the comforting symbol for traumatized children who have crossed turbulent bodies of water in a rickety boat.

The illuminated paper boat, about 60 times as large as a folded origami boat, was conceived and designed by office for urban lighting, City + Light. The boat is made of several triangular, translucent panels with strips of LED modules that distribute light evenly. Nevertheless, the shape is unmistakable. A paper boat! From our childhoods!

It makes you smile instantly. It’s similar to seeing the American artist Claes Oldenburg’s pop art images of a giant apple core, an enormous clothespin, a burger as large as a tent, a bent screw as large as a bridge – this work can now be seen in the garden of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Everyday objects that are blown up to such proportions that you’re required to take another look at those things you thought you knew so well.

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