Some papercraft projects are triumphs in design, allowing you to fashion gorgeous-looking creations with just a few folds of paper. Others, like Wataru Itou’s massive and meticulously-detailed “Umi no Ue no Oshiro” (Castle On the Ocean), are just pure labors of love.
How else can you describe paper art that’s as intricate? Built by hand, the artist slaved over the miniature castle for over four years before deeming it ready for the world to see. Can you imagine cutting and folding paper for that length of time? Imagine the paper cuts – ouch!
Apart from the actual castle, the installation has also been fitted with a bevy of lights, all coordinated to lend an even more dramatic element to the the piece. A moving electronic train has also been added that travels along the paper ramp that courses throughout the castle. Sadly, the creation features no man-made lake surrounding it that’s filled with sharks and alligators (I know, they don’t go exactly go together) – which is how I always thought palatial estates fit for a king should be.
The paper castle is currently on exhibit at the Uminohotaru, a service area in the middle of the ocean (thus, the “Castle On the Ocean” moniker) right between Tokyo City and Chiba Prefecture. A video of the artist during the creation of the work is also said to be on display at the exhibit. According to those who’ve seen it, Itou’s studio (where he cut, folded and assembled the entire work) was barely bigger than the installation.