不「紙」如此 ：觸得到的情感 The Palpable Paper as Art
Updated: Nov 5, 2018
Every piece of paper is unique, conveying its own "touch", "temperature" and "weight" to different people. How often do you hold a book or a piece of paper to feel its thickness and texture?
文 / 特約編輯 Savern Bleu 塞豆窿
譯 ／George Ho
How often do you hold a book or a piece of paper to feel its thickness and texture? The prevalence of technology has reformed our sense of being, we have gradually lost our ability to feel the world through touches. Each piece of paper is made up of different water and wood fibers; each is unique, conveying its own "touch", "temperature" and "weight" to different people. Sometimes we are reluctant to throw away letters, electric ticket stubs and boarding passes because they often trigger our feelings and memories when we hold them again. Despite the fact that the development of science and technology has reduced the use of paper products, the uniqueness of the role of paper to link our emotions with past memories has reminded us of our long-forgotten feelings with the world. Let us look at how the artists of Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea explore and have successfully exploited the plasticity of paper, highlighting its palpable texture in the illusory electronic world, to reconnect our daily lives.
水木研社 Somood Studio (香港 Hong Kong)
The manufacturing of paper has been poetically described by the Somood Studio of Hong Kong as the intertwining of plant fibers with water, and each piece of paper is unique because of its individualized manufacturing process through the steaming, molding and drying. The name of the company“Somood”is made up of two Chinese characters “水water” and “木wood”, which hints the environmental friendly plasticity and recyclability of paper. The Somood Studio specializes in hand-made paper products and hand-made books. The raw materials used in their products are mainly waste paper from paper mills and printing houses, like paper edges left after cutting and scratched school notebooks. Every recycled product contains a story, purchase a handmade book and let the story continue.
The Somood Studio has successfully combined handicrafts to their environmental concerns. It applies recycled paper to manually produce notes, cards, commemorative texts, and wedding invitation cards. Their products extend the length of use of paper and enhance its beauty by providing personalized products that are tailor-made for everything from designs to printing, catering to each user's needs. To pick their products, you can go to their online store and order one!
水木研社 Somood Studio： https://www.somoodstudio.com/shop
From time to time, the Somood Studio also organizes papermaking and hand-made books workshops, to connect the communities with paper art. Their papermaking craft provides valuable opportunities for the public to experience a paper fully again, takes them back to the old and leisure way of living in their long forgotten memories.
In addition, many Hong Kong artists also use recycled objects as their raw materials of creation. For example, a local designer Wong Tin-yan collected the discarded and abandoned wood pieces to crave wooded cartoon animals. Also a group named “Chip Good Guy Studio”consists of young carpenters and artists, converts the trashed woods into wooden toys; they also organize children's workshops to educate and to inspire the public with their hands-on DIY spirits.
秋元机 Akimoto Tsukue （日本 Japan）
作為漫畫家和拼貼藝術家的秋元机Akimoto Tsukue，自然與「紙」有密不可分的關係。秋元机是來自日本的個性畫家， 擅長在咭紙和紙皮上畫出天馬行空的漫畫人物。秋元机洞悉到每塊紙皮都有獨特的故事，繼而從紙材上創作，表達出連接另一個地域世界的體會。他受到亞洲和西方文化影響，筆下的繪圖作品並非我們想像中的日本動漫風，而是帶點玩味、光怪陸離和異國的格調，流露了文化匯集的成果。
Akimoto Tsukue, a cartoonist and collage artist, is naturally inseparable from "paper." Akimoto Tsukue is a Japanese painter with a distinct character, and he is good at thinking outside the box with his drawings of cartoon characters conception. Akimoto Tsukue recognises that each piece of paper has a unique story, which he expresses in his own way, his experiences of connecting one region of the world to another region of the world. He has been influenced by Asian and Western cultures. His paintings do not belong to the Japanese animation type that we are all familiar with. They are the cultural combination of different cultures of the world; they are interesting, bizarre, and exotic.
秋元机沒有把創作規範於繪本，而是視任何紙材為創作媒介，延伸了紙的藝術層次。運用代表著生活軌跡的各種紙品，秋元机在它們的原有面貌上進行創作，融合成非常有趣的跨時空交流。紙皮箱上看似不足掛齒的圖案和文字，在秋元机的繪畫世界裏都變成玩味的漫畫圖案，讓人大開眼界。他在日本大型藝博 UNKNOWN ASIA ART EXCHANGE OSAKA 2017 備受青睞，其中更獲得香港資深設計師區德誠的評審大獎，作品和其創作風格令人留下深刻印象。此外，秋元机還計劃2018年來香港舉辦個展，屆時我們能親身一睹秋元机創意萬象的作品，發現紙品好玩的地方。
Akimoto Tsukue has not confined his creation to books. To him, any form of paper can be his medium of creation, extending the art level of the paper. Using a variety of paper products that represent the various aspects of life, Akimoto Tsukue starts with their original features and integrates them into interesting trans-time-and-tran-space works of art. He has turned ordinary looking patterns and texts on cardboard boxes into eye-opening playful comics in his painting regime. In Japan's large-scale art expo UNKNOWN ASIA ART EXCHANGE OSAKA 2017, he was so popular that he received an award in an art competition, nomimated by Benny Au, a distinguished designer from Hong Kong, and Akimoto Tsukue’s works of art and his creative style have left a deep impression on everyone. Akimoto Tsukue plans to hold a solo exhibition in Hong Kong in 2018. By then, we can see the wonderful work of Akimoto Tsukue’s limitless imagination and discover the fun in Akimoto Tsukue’s paper works of art.
Aimee Lee （韓國 Korea）
The palpable characteristic of paper that we are familiar with for centuries has been brought to another high level by Aimee Lee, a Korean artist, who has woven Korean paper into Korean clothes, skirts and paper displays in a paper-wrapped fashion with her own hands. She has shown us the diversity of paper. Aimee, who currently resides in the United States, has published many academic books on Korean paper art. Her works have also been exhibited in China, the United States, and Australia.
The traditional Korean paper is very durable because it is made of paper mulberry twigs that have a special kind of plant fibers. Due to the flexibility and versatility of Korean paper, Koreans in ancient times not only used Korean paper for painting and calligraphy, but they also used it to make arrow-resistant armor. The national sentiment of Korean paper carries Aimee Lee's deeper feelings for the special paper of Korea. She has developed the traditional paper art into a modern design that uses Korean paper’s flexibility and its possibility to be dyed in any color and to be folded into any form of wrinkles to produce paper cloth with unique textures, and then she hand-made this special kind of paper cloth into Korean fashioned dresses.
Aimee Lee 的另一特色系列，是紙編的鴨子擺設。在韓國婚禮習俗裏，木雕鴨子寓意忠誠，對新人別具意義。突破傳統木雕，Aimee Lee用獨特的紙編（jiseung)方法做成鴨仔的形狀。紙編的過程非常費時和講求精巧手工，才能令韓紙化身各種堅固的工藝品。先把韓紙撕成條狀，把疊起的紙條扭緊成繩狀，然後把紙繩編成籐籃般的條紋，逐步逐步織成鴨子型。
Another special feature of Aimee Lee is her paper-made duck display. In the custom of Korean weddings, the wooden duck displays in a wedding symbolises loyalty of the newly-wed couple. Breaking through traditional wood carvings, Aimee Lee uses a unique method of paper-rope bundling to create the paper duck. This paper-rope making process is very time consuming because it has to be meticulously hand-crafted in order for this special kind of processed Korean paper to be used in the production of various sturdy handicrafts. First, the Korean paper has to be torn into strips, twisted and folded and then woven into paper ropes, which are meticulously hand-crafted in a step-by-step manner into a duck shape with these rattan-basket-like stripes.
After cutting, folding, weaving, pasting, dying, printing, and other processes, a piece of paper can be used to create millions of art designs. Artists place themselves in the world of paper and use art creation to describe their unique experiences and experiences with the paper. In fact, each of us can also find the charm of the paper by touching it with his or her passion. Instead of discarding a piece of wrapping paper or used paper nonchalantly, it is better to feel the texture and to know the story behind each piece of paper, and let this discovery lead us to a deeper understanding of this world.