Put it simply: Masayo Fukuda has mastered the art of papercutting. Known in Japanese as Kirie, it is said to have developed after 610 AD when Tesuki Washi paper, invented in China, was brought to Japan by a Buddhist monk from Korea. The practice itself involves cutting intricate forms from a single sheet of white paper, which are then contrasted against a black background to reveal the unique design.
“The way to make a basic paper cutting is to first draw a sketch on thin paper, put it on top of a black sheet of paper, which will become the final work, and then cut the two pieces together,” Fukuda further explained in an interview with X-Ray Magazine. According to her, the sketch makes or breaks the finished piece. “My work is either good or bad based on the sketch and its completeness,” she says.
“To make one artwork, I combine white paper, artistic skill, cutting techniques with a three-dimensional feeling on one piece of paper,” addsFukuda. Some of her more outstanding pieces include paper cut animals, with a special focus on marine life and underwater creatures.
“I would like to express depth and a three-dimensional feeling with my paper cutting art,” she further explains. “Therefore, I make large works, carefully using the contrast of the thickness and thinness of the line.”
Here are some highlights from her feed: