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.

Shine the 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 recognized Japanese artist who derives his artistic inspirations from Africa, where he discovered his calling. At first glance, I almost thought it was a painting if its texture did not jump out at me. It would be a so complicatedly woven and patched fabric of some kind, that was my second guess judging from African tribal colorings and motifs. I was wrong! It is all tiny pieces of cutout paper, which insanely intricate and detailed, layered on larger pieces of paper so meticulously! His behind the scenes video is the perfect showcase of how accurate his handiwork is. 


What makes his works even more unique is that his original poems accompany his visual works. Everlasting messages of these stories complete his exquisite yet mortal artworks as if it symbolizes human’s impermanent life. He says, “the paper is alive. These minute paper pieces are like the musical notes, and the artwork is the score.” Indeed, I feel like I can hear the harmonious sounds of his magnificent paper orchestra and lyrical poems. Delve 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

The unbound vibrancy and urbanized sophistication
Growing up in spectacular Canadian wilderness, Lacy Barry experienced “the natural and cultural wonders; from brightly hued northern lights to the colorful ceremony dress of the local First Nations Tribe.” Her marvelous three-dimensional paper art crystallizes the beauty she witnessed. Unlike Tetsuji Yamashita’s works, it is easily recognizable that the paper is the material of her artwork. However, I could not believe my eyes that it is paper; they are sculpted. They come in the shapes of wings, flowers, and even buildings. I used to make compound Origami or milk carton robots as a kid, but this is a whole another level. Her masterly of engineering with paper and cardboard has no limit.

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

It is also noticeable how skillfully she blends the unbound vibrancy and urbanized sophistication in a piece. In daring colorings and gradations used in Unicorn Wing, Plate #1, for example, the vivid energy from the wilderness is alive. It is so real that the viewers can even imagine various shades of auroras that she must have seen. The floral wall hanging series stands out because of the tribal and geometrical patterns that surround elegant flowers. The wearable art she creates has indigenous motifs, but her interpretation is modern. This artistic instinct may be the asset of this, so she calls, “a multi-faceted artist.” Adventurous as her artwork may look, but polished will they decorate your daily life. 

Pigeon Dove, Plate #6
35 cm  x 45 cm 

The paper is so much more than a medium for art. When there are artists like them, we, art lovers, cannot take our eyes off of the Paper Art realm. As one, I will keep you posted on upcoming artists. For more delightful findings like this, don’t forget to subscribe to our ArtClip newsletter!

For more artworks by Tetsuji Yamashita, click here https://www.tricera.net/artist/8100122

For more artworks by Lacy Barry, click here https://www.tricera.net/artist/8100782


At TRiCERA we believe that “creativity has no boundaries.” We enable artists to offer their authentic artwork to art collectors by providing our porfessional services. We solve the problems of language barriers and complex overseas delivery services in order to connect Japanese artists to the rest of the world.


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