Have you heard of kirie paper art? The word “kirie” comes from the two Japanese kanji “kiri,” meaning cut, and “e,” meaning picture. It’s a Japanese art form originating in the 7th century, when Shinto shrines were decorated with intricately cut paper designs. Despite its ancient roots, kirie is still practiced today by some Japanese contemporary artists. An artist known as Erica on Twitter is one person who’s keeping the craft alive. She creates cutout fashion illustrations that can be held up to surrounding nature, allowing leaves and flowers to become part of each outfit.
Erica’s illustrations feature female characters wearing kimonos, dresses, and even wings. Although each fairy-like character lives on paper, they also appear to be a part of nature. When held up to trees and photographed, colorful leaves and dappled sunlight appear in the places where Erica has cut out the paper. The result is ethereal, pixie-like characters with vibrant, leaf-patterned hair and clothing. Erica can change their appearances by simply holding them up to another environment.
Check out Erica’s kirie art below and find more from her portfolio on Twitter.