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The Paper Cutout “Octopus”: Amazing Art Made With a Single Sheet of Paper!

Before we begin, take a look at the video "([Kirie] Fast forwarding from the beginning to the completion of "Octopus" / Octopus Production Video)!" ((【切り絵】早送りで切り始めから完成まで『海蛸子』制作動画/Octopus Production Video))!
This artwork “Octopus” looks just like the real thing, but actually, it was created through the Japanese paper cutting technique “Kirie (切り絵).”

The title of this artwork is “Octopus.”
Paper cutting artists never use multiple sheets of paper; They only use one sheet of paper to cut out their designs.
In this article, we'll explore the secrets of kirie techniques, and the handiwork of its artisans to find out how these delicate and artistic works of art are created.

This video fast-forwards through the process of making kirie in just under 4 minutes.
Not a single second of the amazing craftsmanship in the video is to be missed!

What Is Kirie? How Was That Octopus Made?

It was KIRIKEN (Masayo Fukuda), a Japanese Kirie artist, who released the artwork “Octopus” in 2018.
The main characteristic of her artwork is that she can create a beautiful see-through designs of animals, as well as dynamic movement and even shading using only one sheet of paper.

It takes about two months to create artistic paper cutouts like "Octopus."
Drawing a detailed design of an octopus and continuously cutting paper is a daunting task.
You can see KIRIKEN working on some paper cutting at 0:30 in this video.

Once a wide variety of her paper cutouts were introduced on social media, including “Octopus,” she received a multitude of comments from people amazed at the quality of her paper cutting, describing her work as “Beautiful,” with compliments like “I'm at a loss for words.”

This paper cutout is so realistic, it's as if the octopus could start moving at any moment. Even it's eyes at 1:18 and suckers from 2:21 are amazing.

Let’s Give Paper Cutting a Try!

Image of A Kirie Cutout
Photo:A Kirie Cutout

Some people might think that paper cutting is difficult, but it's actually quite a simple concept. Beginners can try it out very easily.
Once you get a sheet of origami paper, scissors, and a paper knife, start by drawing your design on the paper and cut that out.

The trick to making good paper cutouts is to cut the design very slowly and carefully.
If you want to know how to make paper cutouts in more detail, you can also look into trial classes.

Overview: The Deep World of Paper Cutting

Paper cutting has a long history; In China, people have created paper cutouts since the Period of the North and South Dynasties.
Paper cutting is an easy art at its core; All one has to do is cut one shape out of paper.
But as you can see from this video of the octopus paper cutout, the world of paper cutting is very deep.
Can you believe that this artwork is made from just one sheet of paper?
If you haven't watched the video yet, be sure to check it out. You'll be amazed.

It's easy to get started because all you need is paper and a knife.
These days, paper cutting has been getting more and more popular as a new kind of hobby.
Please check out how to make paper cutouts and enjoy the world of paper cutting!
Kirie is a world-class technique for contemporary art and modern Japanese craftsmanship.

【Official Website】KIRIKEN Masayo: Japanese Paper Cutting Artist

Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 15, 2020
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
The Realistic “Octopus” by a Japanese Kirie Artist: A Detailed Cutout Using Only a Single Sheet of Paper! Enjoy This Four-Minute Video Introducing the Amazing Skills of One Artist.
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