Japanese paper artist creates amazingly detailed and colorful plants and creatures, miniatures


Like his pseudonym 我 流 切紙 人 garyukirigamine (literally, “self-cutting-paper”) indicates, Japanese paper artist Toshiaki Kawasaki 川 﨑 利昭 (@garyukirigami) takes a unique approach to the art of paper cutting. Instead of making flat paper cutouts, many of his intricate paper art works look more like sculptures, combining paper cutting with origami to create three-dimensional, colorful and lifelike works inspired by the beautiful specimens. of flora and fauna found in the natural realm and imbued with its own artistic sensibility.

Another way that the creations of this so-called paper artist stand out from those of other paper artists is their size. While some of his works are true to scale, others are miniatures, reproducing creatures in amazing detail at incredibly tiny dimensions.

Kawasaki was commissioned by aquariums and other institutions for its delicate and lifelike paper creations. As a producer and event organizer, he also planned various exhibitions and workshops.

Let’s take a look at some of his work:


In one of Kawasaki’s oft-used techniques, he combines the colorful markings of the living creature while revealing its skeletal structure, into an interesting miniature hybrid similar to a specimen fashioned from kiri-origami (a combination of paper cutting and d ‘origami). Here is a beautiful group of colorful and translucent goldfish created using this technique. It is really hard to imagine that they are made of paper. You can admire more on his blog here.

Photo: Reproduced with permission from garyūkirigaminin (@garyukirigami)

Kawasaki also created works in this style inspired by the giant oar, coelacanth and ocean sunfish, lionfish, and more.

signal crayfish

These Signal crayfish are examples of his realistic works (unlike his works designed to look like specimens on display). As you can see the attention to detail is remarkable. In fact, Signal crayfish are his favorite shellfish.


Photo: Reproduced with permission from garyūkirigaminin (@garyukirigami)

You can see more here.


Kawasaki also takes inspiration from the fascinating world of insects, as you can see in this realistic butterfly and stunning blue dragonfly:


Photo: Reproduced with permission from 我 流 切紙 人 garyukirigaminin (@garyukirigami)

He loves praying mantises as well, not only by crafting incredibly detailed unique specimens (see his mantis on the right, compared to the conventional cutout pattern on the left in the Tweet below).


But in a feat he’s uniquely qualified to accomplish, even going so far as to create a nest with hundreds of baby mantises emerging from it.

As small as a grain of rice

A perfect example of Kawasaki’s awe-inspiring skill at creating intricately detailed creatures in tiny dimensions are these scorpions barely larger than a grain of Japanese rice. For the scale, the one yen coin in the photo below is 20mm in diameter. It’s tiny!


Photo: Reproduced with permission from 我 流 切紙 人 garyūkirigaminin (@garyukirigami

Here are more of his miniatures, from centipede babies to orchid mantis babies and conventional mantis babies and many more.


Miniature dinosaurs in a bottle

Kawasaki is not limited to existing species. His imagination also reaches millions of years in the past. Going back to his skeletal specimen-like creations, Kawasaki creates dinosaurs in miniature form, captured in a bottle for display.


Photo: Reproduced with permission from 我 流 切紙 人 garyūkirigaminin (@garyukirigami

It also creates realistic algae.


To enjoy more works by garyukirigamine, be sure to follow him on Twitter for updates and information on her upcoming exhibitions and opportunities to purchase her work, and read her blog.

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