Using nothing but everyday newspaper, expert paper artist Chie Hitotsuyama crafts realistic, exquisitely detailed sculptures of the animal kingdom.
To create each creature, Hitotsuyama skillfully binds rolled and twisted pieces of wet newspaper to each other. By varying the thickness and contours of the paper, she is able to precisely produce any figure she desires—from an animated little monkey to a resting rhinoceros. She even utilizes the colored print on newspapers to create impressive gradations. The process is completed entirely by hand, and requires a tremendous amount of paper prowess.
While the Japanese artist has obviously honed her craft, her passion for her subject matter goes beyond the artistic side of her work. “More than anything else, I’m particular about the realistic feel of the animals,” she told Kokusai Pulp & Paper. “Animals that live in nature are equal to us in the sense that we live together on this planet. Sometimes they sleep. Sometimes they eat. They are living ordinary everyday lives just like us. I would like [to] keep insisting on reality and producing my life-sized work as much as possible in order to convey their lives.”
Scroll down to watch Paper Trails, a short documentary of Hitotsuyama’s work, presenting an up-close and personal study of her striking sculptures.
All images via Chie; Hitotsuyama.