Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Unique and Mesmerizing World of Paper Art

Did you enjoy crafting with the paper as a kid? I certainly did! Folding, cutting, gluing, assembling, coloring, and drawing. The possibilities it had seemed to be infinitive until I had grown up. As an adult, the paper became an object to take notes when receiving phone calls or to stick on computers as a deadline reminder. It has lost its magic unless when watching Toy Story. I recently have found a heavenly place where the magic is alive in its fullest glory, the Paper Art realm. Let me share that with you all paper lovers of young and old.


Shining a Light on Paper
Not only is paper a medium embracing the art, but it also can be the very material casting the spell of creativity. The most popular type of paper art would be papercut. I, too, love its delicate work and gentle texture of the material. (Search “paper” and see under “material” on TRiCERA.NET) However, the realization of its potential, which these two artists can bring out, was quite refreshing for my grown-up eyes, like dipping in a glacier lake on a hot summer day. Tetsuji Yamashita – his unmatched technique is coined “paper quilt.” Lacy Barry – I would call her works “paper sculptures” for their lively figures.


Tone – by Tetsuji Yamashita 103cm x 72.8cm


Delve into what you see and listen to what it tells you
Tetsuji Yamashita is an internationally acclaimed Japanese artist who draws inspiration from Africa, where he found his calling. At first glance, I almost thought it was a painting if the texture didn’t jump out at me. From the tribal colors and motifs of Africa, I thought it would be some kind of intricately woven fabric, but it was not. I was mistaken. It’s all little pieces of paper cut out, layered into larger pieces of paper, very intricate and detailed, very meticulously! His behind-the-scenes video is a perfect showcase of just how precise his handiwork is.


What makes his work even more unique is that his original poetry accompanies the visual pieces. The everlasting narrative message completes his work, as if to symbolize the impermanence of humanity. He says, “Paper is alive. This minute piece of paper is like a musical note, and the work is the score. Indeed, I feel I can hear the harmonious sound of his magnificent paper orchestra and lyrical poetry. Dig into what you see and listen to what it tells you.


MIKKA (Wandering Flower)_06c by Tetsuji Yamashita
H 62.3cm x W 54.9cm x D 3cm


Unbounded vibrancy and urban sophistication
Growing up in the Canadian wilderness, Lacey Barry “experienced the wonders of nature and culture, from the colorful Northern Lights to the colorful ceremonial dresses of the local First Nations tribes.” Her wonderful three-dimensional paper art crystallizes the beauty she witnessed. Unlike the works of Tetsuji Yamashita, it is immediately apparent that paper is the material of choice. However, I could not believe my eyes when I saw that it was paper. It could be in the shape of a feather, a flower, or a building. When I was a kid, I used to make composite origami and milk carton robots, but this was on a whole new level. There are no limits to her mastery of engineering with paper and cardboard.


Pillars of Fire & Cloud
30cm x 80cm / 25cm x 50cm 81007820017


Also of note are the works that skillfully combine unbounded dynamism with urban sophistication. For example, the bold use of color and gradation in “Unicorn Wings, Plate No. 1” brings the energy of Mother Nature to life. It is so realistic that you can imagine the various shades of aurora she must have seen. Her series of floral wall hangings stand out for their tribal and geometric patterns that surround the graceful flowers. Although the wearable art she creates has indigenous motifs, her interpretation is contemporary. Perhaps this artistic instinct is an asset that qualifies her to be called a “multifaceted artist. Her artwork may seem adventurous, but the polished pieces will adorn your everyday life.


Pigeon Dove, Plate #6
35 cm x 45 cm


Paper is more than just a medium for art. With artists like them, we art lovers can’t take our eyes off the realm of paper art. as one, I will be listing you to upcoming artists. For more fun discoveries like this one, don’t forget to subscribe to our ArtClip newsletter!


For more artworks by Tetsuji Yamashita, click here

For more artworks by Lacy Barry, click here

Isaac Ishimatsu
Born in Tokyo in 1988 and raised in the countryside, Isaac now stays in France. Although he excelled in his studies and work, he spent his time in Japan as an unconventional individual who puzzled his serious teachers and superiors. To realize his childhood dream of living abroad, Isaac moved to Canada in 2015. Currently, learning new languages, teaching languages, and working for TRiCERA keep him busy. Having worked at a pottery studio and studied music at a Canadian college, he has a wide range of interests, including photography and art. He writes about the connection between art and daily life from observations of the history and comparison of cultures.

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