Above the fold: The intricacies of Rain Hi’s origami

Robert Layman / Staff Photo Rain Hi shows off a sheet of origami paper. Some projects start out with 30x30cm sheets of paper like this one shown here, and can be folded down into simple 5x5cm sculptures.

On the last day of January, Mount St. Joseph Academy in Rutland will open its doors to exhibit art from its students and Christ the King School as well.

Among those students is Rain Hi, an international student from Nanning, China a southern city with a population of 6.9 million. In his final year at MSJ, Hi took skills he’s been honing since he was 4 years old and put them into his sculpture portfolio.

Hi’s work exemplifies the intricacies of what tiny sheets of paper can evolve into, while also demonstrating the simplicity of the folds.

Sally Keefe, Hi’s art teacher, said the principles in Hi’s paper sculptures are the same used by NASA to engineer space equipment which has to be tightly compacted.

Some of Hi’s pieces require 90 sheets, while others need only one.

Hi said “origami can be difficult — give yourself a few times.”

MSJ will host an opening night for the public to view Hi’s and other student work from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, in the second floor art room.

Robert Layman / Staff Photo The origami works of Rain Hi in his sculpture portfolio.

Robert Layman / Staff Photo
Rain Hi shows his favorite piece, a sakura, or “cherry blossom,” — a common flower in Japan. It’s Hi’s favorite because the sun fades the paper folds, creating a varied color pattern across the petals.

Robert Layman / Staff Photo Rain Hi’s geometric pattern sculptures with paper spirals around the points.