Get us in your inbox


A life-size origami elephant will be in Chicago this weekend

Written by
Laura Rote

Yes, a life-size elephant, made origami-style, will be among the many artworks on display through the weekend at Navy Pier. And you should probably care about it.

Beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday at 6pm (you can get a peek earlier if you manage to snag opening reception tickets), Expo Chicago (a.k.a. the Fifth International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art) will take over Navy Pier, shining a light on the work of inspiring artists from all over the world.

Among this year’s pieces, you’ll find the work of Sipho Mabona, a Swiss artist with South African roots. Together with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Mabona draws attention to illegal wildlife trade using his depiction of an elephant (shown above, in progress) made from a single, albeit large, sheet of paper—beautiful and delicate. The NRDC, an international nonprofit since 1970, hopes the exhibit will highlight the illegal trafficking of wildlife, especially the trade of ivory and rhino horn. It’s the second-largest threat to wildlife after habitat loss, and the fourth-largest illegal trade in the world—behind narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking—worth at least $19 billion per year, according to the NRDC.

Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.

Latest news