nahoko kojima cuts out swimming polar bear from washi paper
original content
oct 11, 2013
nahoko kojima cuts out swimming polar bear from washi paper


nahoko kojima cuts out swimming polar bear from washi paper
image © solo kojima
all images courtesy of nahoko kojima

 

 

 

depicting a life-sized swimming polar bear, this weightless sculpture by japanese artist nahoko kojima is suspended from the roof of jerwood space in london. ‘byaku’, meaning white in japanese is cut out from one sheet of 3m x 3m washi paper that the artist imported from a paper mill in japan. before she started to cut the animal figure, she crumpled the paper by hand to give it an uneven texture, creating a more faceted form than the smooth surface would have allowed.

 

the artist revealed to designboom that she, ‘chose this particular washi because it has less then 100% kouzo content and this means that it subtly turns warmer in colour over time – this mimics the fur of the polar bear which based on my research goes through a similar change over the span of its life.’

 

the delicately crafted ‘byaku’ has many hidden elements that help to enhance its appearance of moving under water. the fur ends are cut to sharp, tapered points and also visible forms of carp and waves of water accentuate the polar bear’s sense of motion. an overhead spotlight casts a striking shadow onto a plinth below, revealing a swirl of patterns associated with water reflections.

 

 


paper cut sculpture – byaku (2013) swimming polar bear
video courtesy of solokojima

 

 


‘byaku’ depicts a swimming polar bear and is cut out from a single piece of japanese washi paper

 

 


nahoko kojima with byaku at jerwood space, london

 

 


nahoko kojima walking beneath the delicately hand cut ‘byaku’ in london

 

 


shadows are cast onto a plinth below that look like water reflections 

 

 


detail of the patterns that are cut out to enhance the swimming polar bear

 

 


byaku detail

 

 


overall view of byaku (2013) by nahoko kojima 

 

 


byaku at pier arts centre in orkney islands, UK

 

 


nahoko kojima hanging byaku at pier arts centre in orkney islands, UK

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

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