Sunday, December 15, 2019



Kirie, meaning “cut-out picture” in Japanese, is the Japanese art of cutting designs by hand from a single sheet of white paper using a craft knife and then contrasting them against a black background to make them visible. The art dates back over 1,000 years and was initially used in religious ceremonies. 

Papercutting as an art form wasn’t, and isn’t, confined to Japan. Many other countries have rich heritages of papercutting, some works being immensely elaborate and some being simply silhouettes, although that said, that also takes considerable skill. Danish author Hans Christian Andersen was also a papercut artist and French painter Henry Matisse explored paper-cut illustration and decoupage.

Some examples: 

 Chinese paper cuttings 

Middle Eastern paper cutting, 19th century 

Polish paper cutting 

Which is all by way of introduction to some mazing Japanese kirie artists and kirie art . . . 


Nahoko Kojima 

Nahoko Kojima is a professional contemporary Japanese paper cut artist, born in Japan in 1961. She has reinterpreted traditional flat mounted paper cut art as large-scale, sculpture-like paper cut creations, often suspended mid-air. 

Nahoko Kojima’s papercut sculpture of a life size whale, which took a year to complete. 


Masayo Fukuda 

Masaya Fukuda makes incredibly detailed papercuts, her work being reminiscent of lace. In 2018 she revealed a detailed octopus that looks like it had been drawn by pen rather than cut with a scalpel: 


Shu Kubo 

Shu Kubo is a mixed media paper cutting artist with a background in architecture . . . 


One final papercut . . . 

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