Cardboard Creations

Joan Thyagarajan

Around the world, people embody their creative sides and express themselves in their own unique ways through art. While some might choose the path of traditional art, there are those who take art and morph it into new, fascinating embodiments showcasing the diversity of this world. Sophomore Kaitlyn Chung has taken art off the canvas and put it in a new substance: cardboard.
Chung started working with cardboard at the age of six, when she moved into her new house and her toys had not yet arrived.
“Nothing was there except boxes and paint. [My parents] didn’t let me touch the paint so I went with the cardboard,” said Chung. This activity soon turned into a significant pastime for her and she began to move onto more astounding feats of engineering.
The construction begins by printing out blueprints of the object she plans to recreate and then cutting out the necessary cardboard pieces after several measurements. After preparing materials, the pieces are carefully glued together.
Chung builds these artistic creations with a different process each time, making every piece one-of-a-kind. However, there are some key steps that remain consistent throughout her motley collection.
“You need an idea,” Chung said. Ideas can come from anywhere and be anything. After inspiration comes the mathematical calculations for making the diorama, which is then ensued by building the model and a myriad amount of trial and error tests to grind out the finer details.
Although Chung goes through a laborious process to build these models, she keeps the atmosphere light-hearted by creating elaborate contraptions called Ruth Goldberg machines to solve simple problems. For example, she created a pulley system for her door solely because everyone kept opening her door. She keeps this cheery and effervescent attitude throughout and as a reward, she gets a new addition to her diverse repertoire.
Over the years, Chung has dabbled in several different art forms, but she has always stuck with this unique 3-D art because “it’s easy, its accessible, and you can turn it into anything you want. It’s like a moldable LEGO cube,” Chung remarked.
She claims that 3-D art is better suited for her and the satisfactory response it brings is the reason why she has stuck with it for almost a decade.
Chung’s fondness for creating contraptions expands beyond just building models.
“Cardboard’s a hobby that leads toward engineering,” she explained.
Chung hopes to take her creative talent into the engineering field and in due time, advance past cardboard. No matter how far she goes, she will forever be the little girl with a big imagination.