Small city made from hundreds of white paper
Japanese paper cutting is a technique used by artist Ayumi Shibata to make multilayered, three-dimensional artworks. Shibata creates detailed cityscapes and woods using dozens (and occasionally more than 100) sheets of paper, which are then assembled into hand-bound books and kept inside glass containers. The layers of white paper shimmer when illuminated, conveying a sense of cinematic depth.
Paper is not only a practical and affordable substance, but it also holds great meaning for the artist. The Japanese term “kami” also means “paper” and “god” or “soul.” Shibata sees many options rather than being frightened by a blank piece of paper. Without using any pencil outlines, every layer of the paper art is cut out by hand. The artist only needs a visual picture of the architectural environment to get started. My Contemporary Met quotes Shibata as saying, “I utilize my approach to convey my gratitude to the ‘Kami’ for being born in this world. I firmly feel that cutting paper helps me to detoxify both my mind and spirit.
The creative process is just as vital to the artist as the finished product. Shibata claims that “white paper symbolizes the yang, brightness.” Additionally, “the act of cutting represents the yin or darkness.” She views her creative process as giving each piece of art a fresh start. Shibata honors the proverbial Japanese proverb, “The sun god is watching you,” by meticulously creating detailed synthetic worlds that are invisible to the viewer even.
The creator envisions her paper worlds as a platform for interactivity and peaceful coexistence with Kami. Shibata adds, “I cut out works while incorporating my wish that we can coexist without losing our thanks and wonder for all creatures and environment that support our life.
To maintain pace with the artist’s most recent works and forthcoming shows, follow her on Insta and scroll down to view more of Shibata’s stacked paper artwork.
Japanese paper slicing techniques are used by artist Ayumi Shibata.
She constructs 3D cityscapes and woods by stacking dozens of sheets altogether.