The art of paper cutting
February 24, 2010 10:14 PM   Subscribe

A two-dimensional piece of paper takes on a third dimension in recent works by paper cutting artists. Fairytales. Maps and fairies. Forests. Journeying through a book. (Previously) posted by emilyd22222 (10 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I build (and half-heartedly design) paper models like these. From my perspective, it must be really, really nice to be able to just do one-offs like those links show. No repetitive "buildability" testing for when you distribute the model, etc.

But most of the buildability stuff is with products that are much less intricate than the fantasy works in question.

On the other hand, the pressure to do something utterly amazing and unique with paper and then offer it as a kit must be either totally crushing or totally thrilling.
posted by circular at 11:32 PM on February 24, 2010

I find this pretty cool, but I think there are people out there who consider cutting up books akin to puppy punting. I wonder if there are any here on mefi.
posted by dazed_one at 12:09 AM on February 25, 2010

I wonder if there are any here on mefi.

Oh they're everywhere. It's the old "Nazis burned books, therefore all books are sacred" argument. Of course, the same logic dictates that we should all be hoarding boxes full of mail-order catalogues, telephone directories and old toaster manuals, and protesting outside recycling centres at the weekends. Books were once rare and precious things, but so was just about every manufactured item.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:46 AM on February 25, 2010

There are plenty of artists who make and sell paper-cuts. I have one by Chisato Tamabayashi for example that I picked up at the Small Publishers Fair.
posted by vacapinta at 2:56 AM on February 25, 2010

I know an author who, having been rigorously schooled by her parents never to write in books, feels somewhat awkward when asked to sign her work. It's kind of charming, actually.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:07 AM on February 25, 2010

I had never encountered papercutting before I came across it on Etsy and fell completely in love. Some of the papercuttings out there are amazing.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:28 AM on February 25, 2010

I wonder if there are any here on mefi.

Oh they're everywhere. It's the old "Nazis burned books, therefore all books are sacred" argument.

I love reading, and I think book art is wonderful. It adds a new dimension (literally!) to a story and there's just something so magic about using a book, which is filled with facts and allegory and deeper meanings, to create art with still more meaning to it.

I don't think writing in books is evil, either, and I'm a librarian and bookshop clerk. Sometimes I wonder what my children will think when they read my margin notes in the future. I have found it funny to go back and read things I wrote in college and high school. As long as you own it, I say do what you want with it. Of course you shouldn't write in or damage books that don't belong to you, but I think part of the "sacredness" of books comes from making them a part of you, physically and experientially.

Thank you for these beautiful links! I'm amazed that Hina Aoyama uses what look like thread scissors to make such intricate pieces! I wonder if she is using actual paper, or that tyvek material that artists like Tord Boontje have used for greater durability?
posted by Fui Non Sum at 2:55 PM on February 25, 2010

The Museum of Arts and Design in NYC has a special exhibit (through April 4th) on paper-cutting art. If you're in the area, I highly recommend it.

Some of my favorite artists from the exhibit:

Béatrice Coron
Dylan Graham
Andrea Dezsö (she had some really fabulously creepy tunnel books on exhibit)
Rob Ryan (the phrase that come to mind is "exuberantly joyful")

The museum also has a Youtube Channel where they have a bunch of videos about the artists and how they do their work.

(Upon clicking the "previously" link, I see that Coron and Dezsö have already been mentioned. I'll let the links stand.)
posted by pluckemin at 6:06 PM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oooh, ahhh! Exquisite. My kind of joy. Thanks for the nicely put together, delight of a post, emilyd22222.
posted by nickyskye at 9:51 PM on February 25, 2010

Some of the papercuttings out there are amazing.

Agreed. I clicked on the youtube link first, and because of how the FPP was worded I was kind of expecting a 3D optical illusion. Then I clicked on the "Maps" link and the penny dropped. Amazing stuff.

Please tell me that youtube link was computer trickery made to look like stop motion animation.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 2:59 AM on February 26, 2010

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