This Japanese Paper Artist Infuses Divinity in Ethereal Paper Sculptures

Ayumi Shibata is no ordinary paper artist; she is an expert in creating scenarios in both small and large sizes by using sheets of white paper. What is quite evident in all her works is the divinity she infuses in them. She started pursuing this form of art in New York, USA when she observed light illuminating the stained glass on her visits to the church. It ignited her love for working with paper.

This Japanese paper artist uses ‘Kami’ or exclusively white paper. Incidentally, ‘Kami’ also means ‘God’, ‘divinity’, and ‘spirit’. It is traditionally considered sacred by Japanese paper artists. Through this traditional Japanese method of cutting paper, she creates intricate landscapes using layers of white paper. She produces these breathtaking scenarios in such varying sizes that some of them can be held in one hand, while others can be traversed on foot!

Ayumi Shibata shares on thisiscolossal.com, “I use my technique to express my thankfulness to the Kami spirits for having been born in this life. Each piece of paper I cut is a prayer.” The underlying meaning of her creations points towards a deep bond between man and nature and the symbiosis between them.

“The light represents spirit and life, how the sun rises and breathes life into the world.”

Shibata’s ethereal works are reminiscent of the concept of ‘Yin and Yang’, where paper represents ‘Yin’ and the play of shadows ‘Yang’. The play of light and shadow bring her works to life. She elaborates on thisiscolossal.com, “The light represents spirit and life, how the sun rises and breathes life into the world. I believe my pieces are a place to observe the material world and the visible one.” Although her picturesque places do not depict any particular location, she hopes for and believes in what the planet’s future could look like.

Working on an installation that has 108 pieces of paper connected by strings and suspended from the ceiling.

Ayumi Shibata was born in Yokohama, Japan, and did Fine Arts at the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York, USA. She has held many solo and group exhibitions in many countries, such as France, Germany, Japan, Madagascar, and the USA. Currently, she is working on an installation that has 108 pieces of paper connected by strings and suspended from the ceiling.

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Ayumi Shibata

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