Last December, we heard about artist Sipho Mabona’s quest to fold a life-size origami elephant out of a single sheet of paper. And now he’s finally done it–and we’ve got the video to show how it was done.
“White Elephant,” as the project is called, started with a sheet of paper, albeit one that’s 50 feet wide, 50 feet long, and weighs 220 pounds. It took up to 10 helpers at a time, plus Mabona, working six days a week for four weeks to get the elephant folded.
According to the press release we were sent, the excessive weight required some tools and methods Mabona wouldn’t normally use (such wooden pallets as bracers throughout most of the middle part of the construction). Those might not make it a classic piece of origami, but it still maintains some of the key aspects of the art form: It’s constructed from one piece of paper, and the act of unfolding it would damage it irrevocably. Since it’s bigger than the door to its gallery space at the KKLB museum in Beromünster, Switzerland, it’ll have to live its entire life in that room, where it will be on display for a few months.