Redefining ‘billfold’

Tess Vigeland Jul 20, 2012
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Artist Sipho Mabona used the "wet folding" technique to twist and shape the locusts to make sure George Washington's faces and the words "In God We Trust" show prominently on the locusts' bodies. Tess Vigeland

Redefining ‘billfold’

Tess Vigeland Jul 20, 2012
Artist Sipho Mabona used the "wet folding" technique to twist and shape the locusts to make sure George Washington's faces and the words "In God We Trust" show prominently on the locusts' bodies. Tess Vigeland
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The dollar bill is the most common denomination of U.S. banknote. And, you probably don’t give it a second thought, other than a means to pay your bills or buy something. But for Swiss-South African artist Sipho Mabona, he saw a medium to convey a political message.

Tess visited Mabona’s installation — part of a larger origami exhibit — in the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. Mabona folded sheets of uncut U.S. dollar bills (each sheet contains 21 bills) and painstakingly folded them into locusts, which takes about five hours for each bug.

Take a listen to the audio above to learn what Mabona wanted to say with his menacing locust bug origami installation.

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