Japanese paper cut art: next level kirigami

Japanese paper cut art: next level kirigami

Kirigami is a form of art I encountered when searching for origami-tutorials. Instead of just using folding techniques, kirigami also lets you cut the paper, creating the most beautiful shapes. However, some artists have taken this specific Japanese art form to a whole new level. They create images so detailed you won’t believe it is all made from a single piece of paper.

What is Kirigami?

Kirigami is the Japanese art of paper cutting. The term kirigami is a combination of the Japanese words kiru (which means to cut) and kami (which means paper). Much like the traditional origami form, kirigami art is created from a single sheet of paper. Instead of only folds, you also cut the paper. Sometimes kirigami pieces are flat papers with intricate cut outs, and sometimes folds are incorporated, creating a three-dimensional piece. One of the more well-known forms of this are the kirigami paper cards, of which you can see an example below:

kirigami paper card

Kirigami techniques

However, while I thought kirigami cards were difficult to make, it is nothing compared to the intricate and incredible artwork created by Masayo Fukuda. Practicing the kirigami art for over 25 years, she can be considered an expert which has perfected her kirigami techniques. She specializes in cutting the negative space from a single sheet of paper and place it on a black or dark-coloured background to reveal the image. Although the detailed pieces look like several layers of paper are overlapped, it is all just a single sheet. By making use of the negative space and perspective, the artworks seem to consist of several layers.

Masayo Fukuda’s art is on another level

In the overview below you can see a few examples of her work. Not only did I add the finished work, but also the image where she holds the art she created. I mean, if you just saw it on the black background, you would think it was a detailed drawing of some sorts! Only when she holds it can you actually see how large the works are and how fine the details on the tentacles of the jellyfish for example, or the head of the bird. I would get nervous just touching those fine details, so much precision.

If you like her work, please support her by following her on Instagram. She also sells her art online on her website Kiriken Masayo, so be sure to check that out if you like to purchase incredible art for your home.



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