Origami Crane Installation

This installation contains 1073 cranes. In traditional Japanese culture, the crane was revered as a symbol of good luck and longevity. After World War 2, and the bombing of Hiroshima, the origami crane became associated with the idea of peace and migrated into western culture. This was in large part due to a little girl named Sadako Sasaki who was exposed to radiation when Hiroshima was bombed and subsequently developed leukemia. She attempted to fold a thousand cranes but died before she could finish them. Her story became well known in the west as well as Japan and there is a peace park in Hiroshima with her figure on a memorial. Origami cranes have become a symbol of peace internationally partly through her story. One of the cranes in this installation (the smallest pink crane on top of the single large pink crane), was donated by a woman who was gifted it by a Hiroshima survivor. She met him in the late 80’s in the Soviet Union when the Soviet block was dissolving. There was a Japanese contingent of people also visiting and they gave peace cranes as gifts on their stops. This crane is the last of the ones she was given. I feel honored to have it as part of this installation.


See the Crane Project Portfolio Page

This installation was conceived with a dual purpose. I wanted to enliven the space in the Third Street Center and also honor the idea of using the art as a peace installation. The larger cranes were made with hand-painted watercolor paper and are inscribed with words of positivity. Although I folded the majority of the cranes I also had much help from others. I extend to the following people a debt of gratitude for their help:

  • Beth Johnson
  • Katie Bannon
  • Sarah Johnson
  • Patrick Johnson
  • Leslie Johnson
  • Audrey Borba
  • Jennifer Johnson
  • Bsue Johnson
  • Elijah Norris
  • Chris Mullaley
  • Jan Schubert
  • Coco Goldman
  • Lola Goldman
  • Sofia Goldman
  • Vickie Brown
  • Caroline Norquist
  • Shira Singer
  • John Adamson
  • Brenda Pena-Mata
  • Juniper Zislis
  • Akaljeet Khalsa
  • Gesche Johnson
  • Britta Hadden
  • Joanne Jimino ( the donor of the crane from the Hiroshima survivor)

Special thanks for the Ro Mead Community Grant from Carbondale Arts in support of this project.

Jill Scher

Aspen Public Radio