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How contemporary artists create paper masterpieces with scissors and a knife
How contemporary artists create paper masterpieces with scissors and a knife

The world of creativity is unusually interesting, and above all for its originality, versatility and individuality. And sometimes the talented hands of the master create simply unimaginable things that defy comprehension. And at the same time, in order to express himself, the artist does not always need some expensive materials - someone needs a sheet of paper, a knife or scissors. Today in our publication is a modern art paper carving, amazing and enthralling the viewer no less than wood or stone carving.

Paper is a truly magical material. For some creative people, it is a source, indispensable for needlework. And by right we can also say that this art is one of the ancient, and each country has its own name. For example, in Belarus - vytsinanka (reads like vytsinanka), in Ukraine - vitinanka (reads like vytynanka), in Lithuania - karpiniai (reads like carpiniai) in Poland - wycinanka (vytsinanka), in Russia - tenderloin, in Germany - scherenschnitte (paper carving). Each nation has its own traditional motives and symbols, but these are mainly subject and ornamental compositions.

Traditional paper carving in Eastern Europe

Remember, the snowflakes that we love to cut out for the New Year holidays since childhood are the same carving on paper, only in a simplified form.

A bit of history

Artistic paper carving originated in China almost two millennia ago, along with the invention of paper itself. It was during the reign of the Han dynasty, and it was called - jianzhi. Originally cut from paper, patterns were used to decorate gates, windows, lanterns and fences indoors. Mostly women were engaged in this art.

Jianzhi is the art of paper cutting in China

In the 8th-9th centuries of our era, jianzhi art spread throughout Asia, and then moved to Western Europe, and from there to Eastern Europe. In the West, silhouette cutting was common. It was characterized by a black image on a white background, the absence of slotted parts. These were mainly portrait profiles, less often landscapes and everyday scenes. In Eastern Europe, this type of creativity was characterized by both silhouette technique and cut patterns.

Modern works made in the technique of artistic paper cutting, which do not contain traditional folk symbolism and symmetry, are called cut-through images, paper graphics, openwork (filigree) carving. Now this art is widespread throughout the world.

Scissors, a stationery knife and paper are all the craftsmen need to create fantastic pieces. Figures of birds and animals, sophisticated patterns and whole poems, "written" in italics, flower plots … Sometimes it seems that they weave the finest lace from threads. But no … This is painstaking work that requires incredible concentration and a lot of experience.

It must also be said that this work sometimes requires a colossal investment of time, sometimes the master spends from several days to a month to create his creation.

Miracles made of paper Pippa Dyrlaga

Artist Pippa Dyrlaga

Artist Pippa Dyrlaga from the English town of Mirfield, West Yorkshire, carves incredibly complex and fragile works of art from paper. She works in an unusual manner. Cutting various figures from a sheet of paper, she raised to the level of real art.For her, one simple sheet of paper is already a million ideas and opportunities.

Miracles made of paper Pippa Dyrlaga

Each of her compositions is cut from a single sheet and is full of the smallest details that imitate the texture of plants, plumage of birds, snake scales or animal fur. And the work begins with the fact that first the girl applies a drawing on the reverse side, and then painstakingly removes everything that is superfluous with a sharp knife.

Miracles made of paper Pippa Dyrlaga

In ten years of practice, Pippa has achieved tremendous mastery. Her carvings with meticulous detailing have become so graceful that looking at her, it is simply impossible to believe that this filigree white lace was created only with the help of a sharp paper knife. By the way, in her early works, Pippa Dyrlaga used only white paper, but not so long ago, the craftswoman began to add new colors and shapes to her creations.

Miracles made of paper Pippa Dyrlaga

The talented artist is inspired by nature, wildlife, architecture and pop culture. She graduated from the Faculty of Art and Design at Leeds Metropolitan University and is currently engaged in design and print projects for her online store.

Virtuoso Paper Carving by Akira Nagaya

In Japan, there is a special paper-cutting technique called kirie, hence the kirigami. This technique is used by the wonderful Japanese self-taught artist Akira Nagaya, who creates incredibly airy works, as if woven from the finest threads. Also, many people compare his work with graphic sketches drawn with a helium pen.

Akira Nagaya

Akira Nagaya first learned about this craft at the age of twenty, when he worked in a Japanese sushi restaurant, where he learned the science of carving bamboo leaves, then decorating dishes with his works. To improve his professional skills, Akira spent a long time practicing on paper at home, cutting out the finest drawings and ornaments.

Kirigami from Akira Nagaya

Later, Akira Nagaya opened his own restaurant, where the master's masterly works were exhibited. After a while, the artist was offered to show his works in a local gallery, so that not only restaurant visitors would find out about them. The success was overwhelming and, as Akira himself admits, it was only then that he felt and understood that he was engaged not just in crafts for entertainment, but in real art.

Kirigami from Akira Nagaya

To create such aerial works, in addition to artistic skill, a lot of patience, perseverance, hand firmness and visual acuity are required - after all, only one awkward movement and all work can be irretrievably lost.

Kirigami from Akira Nagaya

On YouTube you can find a short video where an artist, being in a Jazz club, carves a flower on a small piece of paper. No preliminary drawing, just fine-tuned movements … Akira Nagaya, like a sculptor, removes all unnecessary and a small work of art is born.

Kirigami from Akira Nagaya

It turns out that in order for an artist to express himself does not always need some expensive materials. Taking something simple as a basis and perfecting it is so Japanese. Akira Nagai's paper paintings are striking in their precise elaboration of the smallest details - they are masterpieces worthy of the best art galleries.

Kirigami from Akira Nagaya

Today Akira Nagaya is one of the few craftsmen in the world who can create such delicate patterns from paper. Not so long ago, Japan hosted the first personal exhibition of the master's works, who today is considered the best paper carver in the land of the rising sun.

Paper lace by Hina Aoyama

Paper laces from Hina Aoyama

Another artist from Japan, Hina Aoyama, was born in the Japanese city of Yokohama, but now lives and works in Paris.

Paper laces from Hina Aoyama in the genre of paper art

Little scissors, paper, talent and hard work are the main tools of Hina Aoyama. Fragile works of art in the form of delicate butterflies or ornate lace, the texts of letters are striking in their filigree.

Paper laces from Hina Aoyama in the genre of paper art

Using scissors, she cuts out texts or drawings from paper, glues them to fabric or glass, and such beauty is obtained. It is impossible to believe how much time and nerves it costs her, however, she seems to love this business.

Paper laces from Hina Aoyama in the genre of paper art

The work of this artist looks airy and light, as well as incredibly fragile. This is just an incredible example of jewelry craftsmanship.

Paper laces from Hina Aoyama in the genre of paper art

According to the artist herself, the creation of one work can take from several hours to weeks of painstaking work. Hina tries to mix different techniques to emphasize her own style in the genre of paper art. And it looks like she already has it. A complex combination of cutouts on a thin paper texture in Hina's hands turns into real masterpieces of modern art and makes them incredibly complex and unique, and therefore unique.

Amazing paper compositions by artist Kanako Abe

Amazing paper compositions from artist Kanako Abe

Kanako Abe is an artist from San Francisco, California, originally from Sendai, Japan. Her delicate work is cut entirely from a single sheet of paper using a precision knife. Of course, it takes a lot of concentration and many hours of work to create such a piece.

Paper carving by artist Kanako Abe

After graduating from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts and several years as a costume designer, Kanako decided to take a different route and tell stories through paper-cut visual poetry.

Paper carving by artist Kanako Abe

For Kanako, creating paper-cut art is a way of meditating on everyday thoughts, emotions, and the relationship between nature and the universe.

Paper carving by artist Kanako Abe

Abe has been engaged in the delicate art of paper cutting since 2012, with each work the craftswoman has improved her skills. Silhouettes of birds, animals, marine life and delicate leaves of different tree species, skillfully carved out of paper, ultimately create the image conceived by the artist.

Continuing the topic, read our publication: Artistic paper carving by Lisa Rodden.

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