Miniature paper sculptures by Makiko Azakami play with scale and substance
what might at first glance appear to be a collection of mundane everyday objects prove, upon closer inspection, to be a little more — minute. these miniature paper sculptures are part of new collection of work by makiko azakami, continuing her more than 30 year practice of making tiny things.
makiko azakami began her paper making career while working as a modeler for sony creative products, where she crafted a miniature godzilla out of paper and glue as a gift for her friend. taken by the character and charm created by the simple combination of scale and material, azakami tried her hand at recreating an assortment of objects, and now does so for a living. entitled ‘i ♥ tools’, azakami’s newest exhibition is concerned with the everyday, taking items and appliances of no particular significance and recreating them as downsized artworks.
while the size of the objects may prompt descriptors like ‘cute’ or ‘adorable’, visitors should be wary of underestimating the work. according to the LA times, her exquisitely detailed recreations are made with paper, tape, tweezers, scissors and a knife — without glue or ruler. the collection — which ranges from cameras to pencils, gasoline cans to paintbrushes — belies a level of artistry and craftsmanship rarely seen in larger scale works. in 1985, after her first solo exhibition was met with the typical ‘cutesy’ rhetoric that is often prescribed to paper artists, azakami visited an exhibition by australian sculptor ron mueck, and was influenced by the artist’s attitude toward scale and substance. azakami’s sculptures should be regarded as just that — minute sculptures, intent on questioning our connections to the world around us by suggesting new approaches to size and matter. ‘i ♥ tools’ challenges our perception of established, over-familiar objects and encourages the viewer to reconsider their relationship to the items that populate their day-to-day lives.
‘i ♥ tools’ will be exhibited at hpgrp gallery in new york until october 13th, 2016.