Tell us a bit about yourself and your practice?
My practice is rooted in material processes with a strong influence of design and craft aesthetics informed by my prior subject specialism in textile design. I always seek to explore the connections between humans as individuals and nature, where artificially created forms are anthropomorphic and give remnants to organic ones. I focus on the idea of life cycles in Japanese culture and religion while incorporating western models of explorations of materiality, consumerism and the everyday, such as the Arts and Crafts Movement by William Morris.
I work with paper, often recycled, partly because of its many common uses, easy availability, and unappreciated nature. In paper I also find an adaptability and elasticity when set within a variety of configurations. By exploring the possibility of materials and their unique properties, I allow the materials to speak and embrace abstraction.
Your sculptures are very natural, yet also ordered and precise. How do you achieve this balance?
I observed a variety of natural forms and structures, finding interest in the fact that the natural world consists of mathematical order such as the Fibonacci sequence. So I experimented with how digitally controlled order and preciseness can recreate organic forms. I tried this with different materials and found the adaptability, elasticity and texture of paper were key to achieving balance.
You mainly work with various types of paper. How do you source your materials?
I started this project when I was studying at art college. At the art school, you find so much discarded paper everywhere. I thought this waste was still valuable and useful, so I collected from bins and off the floor at school. Next, I started to focus on paper shopping bags, which are designed to be disposable. I found the bags particularly interesting because they have such a variety of textures and qualities and were the leftovers from our mass consumption.
After that, I decided to use various types of virgin paper as well to find other possibilities for the material and review the relationship between our everyday life and the material.
By using recycled materials, are you making an environmental statement with your work?
To some extent, yes, I try to find new uses for paper, increasing value by upcycling the material and removing the original function. I started this project to reconsider the actual value of paper and review our overconsumption. Since a sheet of paper is such a simple form and has so many basic applications, we tend to regard it as invaluable and a short-life material. Therefore, I wanted viewers to develop emotional attachment to the artwork and review the value of paper. I expected the artwork would give the audience perceptual illusion by contrasting opposite things – cheap and precious, low and high quality, simple and complex form, traditional and new technique. I believe those things expose themselves as an utterly different objects against what the audience would conceive and associate. I assumed it would be effective to let the observers to reconsider our life, possession, value and consumption.
You don’t just create artworks with these materials, but more recently lampshades and jewellery. What led you to branch out?
It’s hard for me to make a boundary between art and design. The idea of making design products always stems from my art practice, which is experimental and unpredictable. While I don’t plan to make products, the property of paper gives me an idea of other application, and I just try to find a way to make it functional. I am very interested in the fact that the meaning of objects will be easily and completely changed by small interventions.
Where is your practice headed?
I don’t know what I am going to make in the future. I tend not to think too far into the future, I have a long-term vision but work day by day. And I am always moving forward in search of new ideas.
So far, I am still carrying on with my current project and hope to develop it further. Since I am interested in a material’s lifecycle, I will keep experimenting with different materials and scales, focusing on a sustainable way of thinking. In addition, I would like to seek a way of combining traditional technique and digital technology as it seems to have so many possibilities yet to be explored. I believe digital creation would be developed in more positive and innovative way and provide as a new value of artworks.