Precision, Detail, and Subtlety: Bovey Lee’s Paper Art

Bovey Lee’s paper art requires practice and patience. Employing both traditional paper cutting techniques and modern, digital, tools, her process can be divided into three steps: first, hand drawing, then digital rendering, and lastly, hand cutting. The process of hand cutting alone requires lots and lots of hours.

Born in Hong Kong, Lee’s creative journey began elsewhere – when she was first introduced to the art of calligraphy. Practicing Chinese calligraphy since the age of ten, she went on to study painting and drawing, and completed her BA degree in Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She then arrived at the United States as a painter and went on to earn her first Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a second MFA in computer graphics and interactive media at Pratt Institute in New York.

It was only after years of practicing digital art, that Lee found herself craving a more tactile creative experience. “I began to miss creating with my hands,” she told Design Boom. “I sought an expression to satisfy my creative impulses and combine my skills.”

She found what she was looking for through the art of paper cutting. Using the same Chinese rice paper that is used for calligraphy, Lee’s rich creative experience now informs her approach to art-making. “When I cut paper, it is a visceral reaction and natural response to my roots and affection for precision, detail, and subtlety,” she says.