Japanese artist Ayumi Shibata turns ordinary paper into magical artifacts that gleam inside glass vessels. Using traditional methods of Japanese paper cutting, her artworks vary in size, from tiny cities illuminated inside a bell jar to life-size installations, made entirely out of paper.
According to Shibata: “scale and proportion are important to the viewers’ relationship and viewing experience.” While large works of art invite the viewer to step right in, small artworks keep the viewer in the position of an outside observer. “We observe small works as if looking through a keyhole into another world; constantly aware of our outsider status,” she says.
“As I cut out each page by page, I create the multiple dimensions in my work,” explains Shibata. Treating the paper itself as a living entity, she admits to communicating with it in order to learn its behavior. “It is important for me to understand the personality of each piece of paper,” she says. “I choose the paper for each project by considering its personality.”
Inspired by nature, Shibata hopes to bring attention through her work to the delicate relationship we as humans have with our environment and promote a discussion about how we relate and care for the world we were given. Take a closer look: