Layered Paper Cuttings by Naho Katayama

While scrolling through my Instagram feed first thing Saturday morning, this intriguing layered paper sculpture suitcase by Naho Katayama of Fukuoka, Japan stopped me in my tracks. So lovely! Dimension is not something we often see in paper cutting.

paper cut suitcase in white floral design
Let's Travel  

Let's Travel - Naho Katayama

I was surprised to learn that Naho has only been cutting paper professionally since 2011.

Cut Paper Smartphone

Smartphone Paper Cutting - Naho Katayama

While she enjoyed creating as a child, her life path did not return to art until she studied color psychology and became a color psychotherapist in 2008.

The Peonies (Royal Pomp) - Naho Katayama
The Peonies (Royal Pomp)

A self-taught artist, Naho developed an original technique of creating dimension via multiple layers of paper. Her designs are quite small.... the clock below measures just 4 x 4.25 inches (10cm x 11cm).

Our Precious Time Goes On - Naho Katayama
 Our Precious Time Goes On

Our Precious Time Goes On - side view - Naho Katayama 

She uses a sharp craft knife, wood glue and sturdy textured paper, most often white, because it represents "purity of the human heart". Naho describes the paper as cardboard normally used for watercolor or postcards, which of course requires extra diligence to cut.

layered paper cut leaf
 Positive Energy Flow

With Valentine's Day approaching, many of her intricate floral and cut text designs are especially appropriate due to a romantic or self-love theme. Can you spy the tiny hearts? Positive Energy Flow and Romeo and Juliet were cut from pale pink paper.

Romeo and Juliet (the Ultimate Love) paper cut lettering
Romeo and Juliet (the Ultimate Love)

Not all of Naho's work features exquisite curved lines... she also shows examples of angular cuts via architectural pieces on her Behance page that were done as commissions for commercial clients.

Lighting Works illustration - Naho Katayama

She creates an illustration before beginning the precise cutting process.

Lighting Works - Naho Katayama
Lighting Works

Stay current with Naho Katayama's new work and upcoming second solo exhibition in April via Facebook and follow her on Instagram.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. just exquisite ! thanks for shaing

  2. wow, these are just amazing. I love that suitcase

  3. Oh my goodness, so tiny, so exquisite, so beautiful!

  4. Truly truly incredible!! I did some paper cutting while quilling some letters last month remembering how I struggled I feel so much respect for this amazing artist.

  5. Would love to see this being done in person....simply amazing!!!!

  6. absolutely stunning!!...such attention to detail on such a small scale.....she has mastered turning simple paper in gorgeous art....incredible!!!

  7. amazing paperart! loved reading all about the process.

  8. Thanks for all the enthusiastic comments, everyone!


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