“Papier”, laser cut series by paper artist Dana Shek. We use paper daily and it seems like such a basic material but it is so versatile. That’s why I love working with paper. I can fold, cut or create a collage. There are many interesting applications. Being a paper artist based in Hong Kong is great. I have access to Chinese rice paper and regular papers as well.
For this series, I am choosing to work with white paper because it’s quite challenging to laser cut. This technique usually discolours the paper edge with singeing and smoke. Sometimes this effect can be also part of the character of the artwork. But I want to see how clean the paper can be when cutting. I experimented with laser cutting over several months, tweaking time and laser intensity. I tested many different grades of paper as each had different reactions. Finally, I managed to get a very clean laser cut and was ready to produce my designs.
“Papier I” is a still life scene depicting a flower with butterflies. I am creating a stylized design with strong linear graphics for the flower. Folded butterfly wings create a 3-D element which adds an extra depth to the laser cut artwork. I chose to mount the white paper on top of a mirror, gold card. This gives the artwork an elegant, colour highlight.
I am inspired by the beautiful shape of gourd vases and used that as the starting point for “Papier II”. From there I designed a pattern like a crackle glaze found on ceramics. I thought about the still life themes found on these vases. Then decided to feature the three-dimensional butterflies here also.
I love Asian antique vases and the garden themes they depict. “Papier III” is my interpretation and it features bees flying around leaves. My style of work is modern and minimal. The white spaces are as important as the cut out areas. My design is laser cut on white art paper and mounted on gold paper. The glossy gold paper has a reflective quality and mirrors the interior. This adds an extra depth and element to my art.
See more nature inspired paper cut with “Foliage” by Alvin Mak.