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A Japanese Corner in Funchal

Looking for Far Eastern art and artistry? In RESTOCK Gallery behind the “Mercado dos Lavradores”, our Japanese-born citizen Hana is teaching Origami, the art of paper folding, and Japanese Calligraphy to interested persons.

Origami is fun for children and adults alike. Paper folding – just a single sheet of paper – turns out cute images of animals and flowers. A well-made origami may look fragile but is indeed quite a strong structure. Cubes, 3D triangles and other shapes are possible as well. With intricate folds and creases, many graceful forms can be shaped.

Hana teaches also Calligraphy for beginners and advanced students. The students write in Kanji (Chinese origin), Hiragana and Katakana in the class. All these characters are taught to Japanese children in school as they are used in daily life. Many children also learn how to write with a brush.

There is no end as to what can be expressed in the letters. In Japanese language, such writing does not only contain a word but often also a sentiment: The written words may show different levels of respect in a New Year greeting card; many a writing expresses the love the Japanese have for Mount Fuji.

In Hana’s class the students train on normal copy paper until the teacher gives out the “good” paper for the end result. This thin layer of special film soaks up more ink so the student wants to be extra careful when putting the best effort on the paper.

Hana says: “Origami is a craft where the student can improve the result by working meticulously. On the other hand, in Japanese calligraphy, the students can express more of their own personality.”

If you want to have a go at these crafts, contact RESTOCK at restockfunchal@gmail.com or simply pass by to speak to Claus or Hana.

Ursula Hahn

info at madeira-weekly.com

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