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We Love Animals

Breathe Life Into Living Creatures From Piles Of Old Newspapers

Chie Hitotsuyama, a Japanese craft artist is able to create vivid animal sculptures out of newspaper only.

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

But how can an artist create such exquisite sculptures with only sheets of paper? In her own studio, the Japanese artist gathers old newspapers to use as her main materials.

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

First, newspapers are cut into long strips, each of which is applied with water to become moist and soft. Then, Hitotsuyama rolls and twists the wet strips to form a long ribbon. Finally, she carefully created the sculpture by tying and stacking strips of paper together.

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Hitotsuyama uses paper of different thicknesses and contours to achieve the desired shape. She even makes use of color prints to incorporate color variations into her newspaper animal sculptures. As an animal lover, Hitotsuyama’s works mainly depict her favorite subject: Beasts. All of her newspaper animal sculptures have very realistic, close-to-nature details that make viewers feel like they are actually moving.

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

With some large animals, such as hippos, the process of completing the work sometimes takes up to 3 months. With each specimen, newspapers are always carefully prepared to create characteristic contours such as scales, shells, fur, and skins of each animal. Handcrafted pieces always seem ready to “wander” into the natural habitat of each animal.

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Growing up in a family that owns a paper mill, Hitotsuyama had the opportunity to become familiar with this material and was inspired at an early age to make paper crafts. At that time, Hitotsuyama had a strange idea: A newspaper is much as fragile as the existence of animals in the natural environment is harsh. But she has always believed in the power of both.

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Up to now, Hitotsuyama’s studio has been home to many animals such as monkeys, chimpanzees, hippos, rabbits, turtles, created with just glue and newspaper rolls. “I am breathing new life into old newspapers,” she said.

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Hitotsuyama began her work in 2011. The idea for her first sculpture, a rhinoceros, came up when she saw a rhino being poached during her African trip in 2007. After waiting for 4 years to learn and perfect the skills, she gave birth to her first artwork.

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Hitotsuyama’s incredible patience can be seen in every meticulous, awe-inspiring work. To maintain scientific accuracy, she carefully scrutinized the photos and videos of the chosen animal, then created the basic framework for the sculpture. She selected the newspapers by color, twisting them into thin rolls, one after the other. “By gluing each scroll, I was able to create beautiful contours and curves, from which the shapes of the animals emerged,” says Hitotsuyama.

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

She added: “I admire animals, adoring how they are trying their best to survive in a dangerous environment. They remind us of the precious things we are slowly forgetting in this life. Creating animals made me think more about the meaning of life and how I should live it.”

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

Source: Hitotsuyama Studio

H/T: Avant Gallery

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