You might have already read our series on food artists. B/D has decided to feature another 3-part series on cut paper artists! The art of paper-cutting evolved from the traditional Chinese craft, stretching back to the 6th century. Today, contemporary paper artists have pushed this art-form into focus once again. Armed with their X-Acto knives, (and nail scissors?), these artists have redefined the meaning of intricate. (Some actually believing they’ve only completed a day’s work once their hands shake with fatigue, waking up sore the next morning!) Though it can be frail, finicky, and prone to tearing, their choice of medium is deliberate; they’ve claimed paper as a way of using an ordinary material to express themselves in unconventional ways. Check out the three cut paper artists of the day!
Growing up in Hong Kong, Bovey Lee felt a special connection to the ancient craft of paper-cutting that was a part of her heritage. She chose to modernize it in order to elevate the craft and reflect China’s history; all the while telling stories of its current struggles and survival. Her obscenely intricate and yet effortlessly precise works are intended to engage her contemporary audience in political discourse to raise concern for the side effects of rapid urbanization.
Most recently, Peter Callesen has designated plain white A4 paper his medium of choice for its simplicity and familiarity. He makes work that relates to the average person, who, most likely, receives and shares information on those very same white sheets. His works have evolved into installations of a much larger scale, but his paper cuts in every size focus on both the image protruding from the paper, as well as the shadow space left by that image. The two parts, positive and negative, are created to foil each other, and reflect Callesen’s reoccurring themes of tragedy and romanticism.
Unlike may cut paper artists, Chris Natrop employs a technique he likes to call “knife drawing.” All his cut paper works are created in a stream of consciousness style, with no pre-drawing whatesoever. Working with enormous sheets of drawing paper, most of his works are large-scale. Many comprise of room-size installations, in which he manipulates light and video projections to play up shadows, and create immersive environments.