The art of cutting paper into intricate shapes, patterns, and pictorial designs carries a long history across many cultures, from China to Mexico, India to Sweden, and beyond. Responding specifically to the tradition of Kiri-e, or Japanese paper cutting, Hiromi Mizugai Moneyhun uses an exacting method to produce hand-cut paper works of astounding complexity and rich detail. Beginning with a line drawing, the artist uses a fine-blade knife wielded with a remarkably steady hand to carve the image out of black archival paper. The delicate works are then mounted away from the wall, creating textured patterns of light and shadow.
The characters in Moneyhun’s compositions—humans, caterpillars, moths, and other creatures—are often shifted in scale with exaggerated features, resulting in images that feel like fantastical revelations from another world. In Visionesses I, for example, two female figures, seemingly united by a single striped garment, observe a giant spiked caterpillar with elaborate surface markings. Themes of transformation and femininity underpin Moneyhun’s works, which often feature the artist’s daughters as models.