Upcycled Waste Paper by Kuniko Maeda

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Paper is given a second chance at life by Kuniko Maeda, who upcycles it using both conventional methods and contemporary technologies to transform waste into artwork.

She finds inspiration in Japanese craftsmanship and philosophy.

Kuniko Maeda studied traditional woodcarving in Kyoto because she has always been fascinated by and admired by Japanese workmanship. Paper is Kuniko’s primary medium for creating her sculptures, however she occasionally uses leather or other materials as supports. She uses a combination of digital technology and traditional Japanese artisan techniques in her process.

Kuniko frequently utilizes waterproof and extremely durable Kakishibu paper. In the near future, she thinks, our perception of material values and sustainable ways will be positively impacted by the marriage of old craft skills with new technologies. She discovered Kakishibu, a kind of paint made from the Japanese fruit persimmon, while researching possible methods to long-lasting paper utilizing traditional Japanese craft skills. She then began creating original Kakishibu paper using paper waste, new technology, and laser cutting. Slits were made to save production waste and produce a stronger 3D structure out of delicate paper.

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