Cristian Marianciuc began creating intricate paper cranes on 1 January 2015, amid a three-year struggle with depression. After giving up his life in Australia to start work at a humanitarian organisation in Moldova, the Romanian artist found himself struggling to re-adjust to life in Eastern Europe.
“Although I was accomplishing a lot in my new position, I felt that time was passing me by and I wasn’t able to create new memories,” he says.
The origami project — which Marianciuc called Icarus.Mid.Air — became a personal yet public visual diary, where he could attempt to capture and immortalise each day in the shape of a decorated paper crane.
“I chose paper for its accessibility, and I chose the origami crane as a blank canvas for its rich and emotional symbolism,” he says.
At first, Marianciuc planned to create 100 cranes in 100 days. Gradually, his plan grew to 365 cranes, then 1,000 as a nod to the Japanese tradition of ‘Senbazuru’: a legend which states that any person who folds 1,000 origami cranes is granted a wish. He eventually reached his goal in September 2017 — but now has no plans to stop.
“This new habit has become so important to me that I cannot envisage ever stopping altogether,” he says. “I am now focusing more on exploring themes and techniques and allowing myself to work on a piece without the previous time constraint of 24 hours.”
To see more of Marianciuc’s work, visit his Instagram page here.