Kanako Yaguchi – Kirigami extraordinaire!

Kanako Yaguchi – Kirigami extraordinaire!

kanako yaguchi

A few weeks back it was with absolute pleasure that we hosted internationally renowned Kirigami artist Kanako Yaguchi. In collaboration with the Japanese Consulate in Melbourne we were able to offer Paperlab fans all over Melbourne the chance to attend a FREE workshop with Ms Yaguchi where over 2 hours they could learn all about her wonderful artwork and the tricks behind creating their very own pieces to take home.

The response to our event was overwhelming and it warmed our hearts to know that so many other local Melbournians love Japanese paper crafts as much as we do! On the day we had over 25 people in attendance and more than 50 people who had signed up to the waitlist. The hope is that we will be able to host something similar in future for others to enjoy so waitlisters never fear!

Ms Yaguchi’s fascination with Kirigami spans over 15 years and she has been creating wonderful papercut pieces for some time now. Throughout her artistic career she has travelled throughout Japan, Russia, Vietnam and now Australia delivering wonderful workshops as well has exhibitions of her work. Ms Yaguchi uses her kirigami patterns to create designs for a range of accessories and she is also the author of 9 books on Kirigami. One of our personal faves is The Art of Decorative Paper Stencils where you will find a huge variety of templates and instructions into creating your own kirigami papercuts. Who knows… with enough practice you could one day be as good as Ms Yaguchi!

kanako yaguchi

Ms Yaguchi’s previous exhibitions include  installations of her Kirigami pieces with titles such as “One Hundred Words, One Hundred Flowers” and “Colourful Treasures”. Whilst in Australia earlier this month the Japan Foundation in Sydney held an exhibition entitled “Kirigami – Scissors & Paper” with Ms Yaguchi’s work displayed as a walk through installation. Purely magical stuff!

Kanako Yaguchi Sydney exhibit

© All images Japan Foundation Sydney

Our evening with Kanako Yaguchi began with a presentation on Kirigami as an art form and an overview of her past work.  Next up was a live demo of her technique. Can we just say – Ms Yaguchi is a master with scissors and paper. Truly she is! We’ve seen lots of fancy papercutting in the past but to watch Ms Yaguchi create intricately delicate patterns in paper is something else. Her awesome talent wowed our attendees and there were many gasps of “Oh my god! How did she do that?” along with “WOW! No way!”.

kanako yaguchi

Once Ms Yaguchi had wowed us with her kirigami skills we were then able to get hands-on for ourselves under her expert guidance. For the next 1.5 hours attendees were given lots of colourful origami paper to create their kirigami artwork which was then going to be applied to a little box that would be lovingly covered with beautiful paper and decorated with their creations.

kirigami

kirigami

© All images Japan Foundation Melbourne

So many wonderful pieces were made on the night and there was lots of smiling and laughing as we all attempted to perfect our kirigami skills. Ms Yaguchi was very kind and even though my kirigami creations left a lot to be desired she smiled and said it looked great (trust me it didn’t!) However, everyone else in the workshop really excelled and created some incredible designs and some amazingly detailed boxes to take home.

kanako yaguchi

kirigami

© All images Japan Foundation Melbourne

We had a special gift for Kanako and hope she liked her little piece of Australia to take back to Japan. Domo arigato Ms Yaguchi! We hope to see you again 🙂

kirigami

 

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