In pictures: Japanese artiste replicates wild animals using intricately bound newspapers

Just when you thought that your old newspapers were just meant to line your cupboards or spread over the kitchen floor in case you made a mess - think again! Here's Chie Hitotsuyama to make you rethink how you can use your newspapers.

Hitotsuyama, a Japanese paper artiste gives everyday newspapers a new lease of life by folding, rolling and stacking it to create of some of the world's most recognizable animals.

The artiste builds paper sculptures representing everything from manatees to monkeys, including some endangered animals such as the rhinoceros and the sea turtle.

Catch spoke to Hitotsuyama about her work via email. Here's what she had to say -

"I primarily use old discarded newspapers - ones that have become unwanted and no longer have a purpose to the original owner. Then I make paper strings out of the old newspapers," said Hitotsuyama.

The sculptures are all made by hand, creating some very detailed and rather striking figures in the process.

Hitotsuyama has long been associated with paper making.

"I grew up in a small town called Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, where I still have my studio. Fuji is known for its paper manufacturing industry, as well as nearby Mount Fuji. My grandfather owned and operated a paper mill. So it was quite natural that I came to work with paper as my material of choice," said Hitotsuyama.

She varies the thickness and contours of the paper producing perfect details of skin and hair.

Speaking about her work Hitotsuyama stated, "When a piece of paper is rolled up, it increases its strength, and by gluing together one by one and side by side I can carefully form contours and curves with each single string. These single strings, collected together, consequently become the surface of an object. And eventually, a shape or a form of an object appears."

A lot of her works includes wild animals and Hitotsuyama shares her reason behind her animal sculptures.

"In 2007, I went to Zambia and came across a wild rhinoceros at a national park. The rhino was brutally injured due to a human. A park ranger who was guiding me told me that it has been killed by poachers who wanted its horns. This incident at the park stuck with me and I decided to make a work in order to share this reality with other people. Making of an animal sculpture had started off with this particular experience in Africa. And many sculptures of animals followed since then. People often see my work as sculptures only of endangered species. But I never intend or focus only on endangered species. Rather, it so happens that what I get drawn to just happens to be one."

And it's not just Hitotsuyama, those who have seen her work can't help but get drawn into the figures that seem to capture the very essence of these majestic creatures.

Text by Sehar Qazi

Photo Curation by Priyata Brajabasi

Edited by Jhinuk Sen

 
Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

Priyata thinks in words and delivers in pictures. The marriage of the two, she believes, is of utmost importance. Priyata joined the Catch team after working at Barcroft Media as a picture desk editor. Prior to that she was on the Output Desk of N...

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