“In one way or another I’ve always suffered. I didn’t know why exactly. But I do know that I’m not so scared of suffering now. I feel more than I’ve ever felt and I’ve found someone to feel with. To play with. To love in a way that feels right for me. I hope he knows that I can see that he suffers too. And that I want to love him.” - Lee Halloway
70-year-old Xu Shuquan is a retired primary school teacher from the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province who has spent the past 60 years practicing Zhezhi, the traditional Chinese art of paper folding. Shugan has been folding paper planes since he was 10 years old and has amassed an awesome collection of 10,000 paper planes of various sizes, shapes and colors. Unlike Japanese origami, which primarily focuses on creating animals and flowers, Chinese paper folding concentrates mainly on objects, such as boats, hats, or in this case, airplanes.
…Xu put his knowledge of Zhezhi to good use during his teaching career: “When children were naughty or not paying attention, I would get their attention by folding a simple paper dart with a message on it and flying it to them,” he said. “The planes got more and more complicated and the children seemed to love them.” The trick would backfire at times because his students loved the planes so much that they would create a ruckus on purpose.
Shuquan hopes to hold an exhibition of his Zhezhi creations in hopes of reviving an art form which he feels has been eclipsed in the western world by Japanese origami.
“My biggest hope is to hold my own exhibition where people can learn more about the traditional art.”