statement

Modern and traditional papercutting
―The universal spirit engraved on paper―

Papercutting has the fragility of openwork cut out from a single sheet of paper with a knife, which presents an atmosphere of tension. And the tension naturally resonates with Japanese who have found purity and sanctity in the whiteness of paper.

Papercutting has a long history and it was brought from mainland China to Japan. Some works of the Tang dynasty, China (AD 618- 907) are preserved in the Shosoin (the ancient treasury in Japan). And then the art spread across the country. At religious ceremonies such as Kagura (a performance of sacred music and dancing) and annual events such as Tanabata (the Star Festival), papercutting has been part of Japanese life as folk art of decorating space and directing special time.

Initially, I didn’t think that the traditional papercutting was related to my creation. But I came to understand that both overlap considerably regarding reason or purpose to create because traditional papercutting embodied people’s wishes and prayers for invisible things by cutting out of paper and I’m trying to create a visible work from formless things. This made me realize that my work is an act of re-creating the spirit of traditional papercutting as a modern papercutting to make them co-exist harmoniously, as well as a means of giving expression to my own ideas as an artist.

While I learn about folk culture and sacred art generated by people’s wishes and prayers, I continue to produce works with the goal of creating my papercutting filled with not only the form and design on the surface of these cultural heritages but also human’s universal spirit within them.

現代の切り絵と伝承切り紙 ー紙に刻まれる普遍の精神ー

切り絵が持つ、一枚の紙を刀で刻んだ透かし彫りの造形の儚さ、そこから生じる緊張感は、紙の白さに清浄と神聖さを見出してきた日本人の感性と自然に響き合う。

切り紙の歴史は古く、中国大陸から日本に伝わり、正倉院宝物にも唐時代の遺物が残る。その後各地に広まり、神楽などの宗教儀式や七夕などの年中行事において、空間を荘厳し特別な時間を演出する民間芸術として、現在まで生活の傍らに存在し続けてきた。

かつて私は、これらの伝承切り紙と自身の切り絵の制作が関連するものとは考えていなかった。

しかし、人々の願いや目に見えない存在への祈りを紙を切り抜くことで有形化してきた伝承切り紙と、形を持たないものを目に見える作品として創出しようとする自身の試みは、動機や目的において多くの面で重なり合っている。

この自覚を得たことで、自身の創作が作家個人の表現であるだけでなく、伝承切り紙に折り重なるように息づき、その精神を現代作品として再創出する行為であると認識するに至った。

人々の願いや祈りの心が生み出してきた民俗文化や宗教芸術に学びながら、その表面上の形象にとどまらず、これらの遺産が内包する人間の普遍の精神性をも湛える作品を目指し、創作を積み重ねている。