Inspiration- paper cuts

Paper cuts are an inspiring and interesting form of art, here is a round up of some amazing examples.

One of the forms of art I appreciate most and have spent a long time obsessing over is paper cutting. It goes by many names in many cultures and has been appropriated by many artists. It is used as an accompaignment or as a stand alone piece. As a form of art is is accesible to almost anyone. All it takes is a piece of paper and a tool to cut it with.

In Mexico it is called Papel Picado. It is used as decoration for celebrations, often the designs are cut in pieces of colourful tissue paper that are strung as a banner.

In China, the birthplace of paper, one of its names is Jianzhi and is traditionally done in red. It is a very old and traditional craft that is often used as decoration in around Windows and doors.

The version from Switzerland is called  scherenschnitte, in Japan it is kirigami, in the Ukraine it is called vytynanky and Poland it is wycinanki. in short, it is found as a traditional craft all over the world.

Modern artists have been using this traditional process in their work. Their interpretations are beautiful and often delicate. They give a value and meaning to the humble material of paper.

Artist Lauri Lynnxe Murphy creates beautiful work using laser cut paper. Her Doilies of Imminent Destruction uses traditional forms of doilies accenting images of nuclear disaster sites from before the disaster. She uses a relatively new technology (laser cutting) to aid her in creating these beautiful and poignant works.

Deepwater horizon by Lauri Lynnxe Murphy

Deepwater Horizon 2012

Chernobyl by Lauri Lynnxe Murphy

Chernobyl 2011

Japanese paper cut artist Nahoko Kojima creates beautiful 3D forms that are cut out of single sheets of paper. They take months to complete and are simply hung to create a 3D form that emphasises the delicate paper work. Here is a short video showing her process and one of her pieces, Cloud Leopard.

Montréal based artist Myriam Dion creates beautiful work using newspapers. She cuts delicate and repetitive designs into newspaper’s pages, using the images that are already present as a reference. She will be present at La Foire en art Actuel de Québec at L’Oeil de Poisson from October 18th to the 20th.


Le Devoir, Les samedi 4 et dimanche 5 mai 2013 by Miriam Dion

Le Devoir, Les samedi 4 et dimanche 5 mai 2013

Financial Times: Saturday August 3, Sunday August 4, 2013, USA by Miriam Dion

Financial Times: Saturday August 3, Sunday August 4, 2013, USA

Ajourer, Bureau du directeur de l'École des arts visuels et médiatiques, Mario Côté, UQAM

Ajourer, Bureau du directeur de l’École des arts visuels et médiatiques, Mario Côté, UQAM

Peter Callesen creates 3D forms using the paper that has been cut away from his designs. The juxtaposition of the form that is created adds a new layer of narrative, sometimes simple and often profound, he manages to express complex ideas with simple materials and notions.

Transparent God Paper Sculpture by Peter Callesen

Transparent God Paper Sculpture

Dead angels by Peter Callesen

Dead Angels

cradle by Peter Callesen


Swoon (Caledonia Curry) is a New York based artist who uses paper in new and inspirational ways. She installs many of her prints and paper cuts in the streets and in galleries alike. She is also involved in many other projects like the Swimming Cities of Serenissima, insanely beautiful boat/structures, as well as the Konbit structures, buildings being built in communities in Haiti by the organisers and members of the community. Her drawings and paper cut installations are complex and touching, they feature people from everyday New York and images and patterns from a wide variety of inspirations.

Swoon, paper cut installation

Swoon, papercut installation

Swoon, paper cut installation

Swoon, installation on the streets

And finally a video collaboration by Cat Solen and Swoon featuring her installation in the MOCA LA for the exhibition Art in the Streets.


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