Artist Masayo Fukuda (mah-sah-yoh foo-koo-da) has practiced the Japanese art of paper cutting for 25 years. Historians trace the artform, called kirie (keer-ee) meaning “cut picture,” back to 700 a.d. The Japanese artist follows kirie tradition. She cuts white paper by hand to render works like her 2018 octopus, above. Her designs are so detailed that viewers might mistake the negative space in her work for black ink.
Fukuda uses a craft knife to patiently cut the organic shapes of the sea animal’s round head, bulging eyes, and eight arms—suckers and all. Then she adds tiny swirling patterns. Fukuda made the shockingly intricate paper creation to honor the sea creature’s majestic beauty.