From naturally dyed paper, Kanako Abe cuts exquisite works connecting nature and human touch – Colossal

by The Insights


#Kanako Abe #paper #plants

April 13, 2023

Grace Ebert

All images © Kanako Abe

After several years of working primarily with white paper, Kanako Abe moved to color. The Seattle-based artist is known for her exquisite Kirie works – a traditional Japanese art form that translates to a cut image – and it has recently begun to incorporate rich blue and gold leaves tinged with rust, indigo and various materials from the forests. “When I dye the paper, I don’t know how the shade, color or texture would turn out, but I just go with the flow, trust the process and embrace the imperfection,” she shares.

This sentiment contrasts with the impeccable precision of his compositions, which often feature silhouettes, hands, animals or household objects encircled by delicate botanical filigrees. The idea of ​​pairing organic dyes with meticulous cuts was born at the start of the pandemic, when “in such a state of the world, the attitude of trying to control something seemed very stressful to me, so I started to feel out of alignment with my method of creating art,” says Abe. “This new method, which I am still experimenting with and exploring, allows me to meditate on a thought that the world around us is changing.” The resulting works are as complex as his earlier pieces, though they place greater emphasis on the limits and possibilities of human touch.

Head to Instagram for more paper cuts from Abe and to peek into his process.

A photo on a white background of a blue paper cut out silhouette with flowers and plants growing from the top of the head

Two photos on a white background, one of a golden paper cut-out of a hand holding flowers surrounded by flowers, and the other a detail of this same work

A photo on a black background of a golden paper cut with scissors surrounded by flowers

Two blue paper cut photos on a white background, one of a pot with a female figure and flowers growing from the opening, another of two hands clasped around a bouquet of flowers

A photo of a gold paper cut on a white background of a deer surrounded by flowers

A photo of a golden paper cut on a black background of a butterfly landing on a hand with a mesh background

#Kanako Abe #paper #plants

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