Paper cutting art requires tremendous patience and a steady hand, and Japanese artist Masayo Fukuda has mastered the craft. Known as Kirie in Japanese (translated as “cut picture”), the traditional art form involves cutting intricate forms from a single sheet of white paper and then contrasting it against a black background to reveal the design. Fukuda has been practicing Kirie for 25 years and has recently revealed what she believes to be her best work of 2018—an incredible life-sized paper octopus.
At first glance, the beautiful artwork looks as though it was rendered using fine-tipped pens, but Fukuda carefully cut every detail from one sheet of paper. The elaborate depiction details the majestic sea animal’s rounded body, bulging eyes, and 8 long arms. Various textured sections look like pieces of delicate patterned lace, such arm suckers that resemble ornamental doilies and decorative swirling patterns on the head. The mesmerizing artwork celebrates the beauty of the fascinating species, who are known to change their skin color and texture within seconds to match their surroundings.
You can see Fukuda’s stunning Kirie designs up-close at Miraie Gallery in Osaka from April 24 through April 30, 2019. If you can’t make it to Japan, you can check out more of the artist’s impressive creations on Instagram.