Eri Kato is a Japanese artist. She uses paper, paper folding and cuts, as well as cardboard and wood as sculptural materials. She takes us for a tour inside the rich textures and materiality where we traverse dimension, substance and light from various angles. Through cutting, twisting, tearing and taking apart these materials reveal hidden perspectives, and offer us a glance into what would otherwise be considered empty space. What used to be boxes and packaging for sweets, are folded into unusual forms in an artistic play, and some are elaborated into large installations to create fantasy-like worlds for us to explore and be a part of.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in an old typical Japanese folk house. The house was very old (about for 100 years), so there was a place where I used to trip over. There was difference in level on the floor where I always needed to raise my feet higher to pass. There was such a steep staircase that I had to crawl up. There were also distinctive smell, feeling, and sound of the old folk house. There were also a lot of useless spaces. This experience quickened my imagination. I believe that my behavior, space recognition or sense of creativity were acquired through the experience of living in such a house.
Tell us about your current practice.
I make my work from discarded materials such as cardboard boxes. I make use of my imagination freely with a minimum tool. My works are pure abstract. However, when I combine the pieces, I seem like creatures. I think that I give lives to them.
I noticed that a lot of your works utilizes papers/cardboard/stitches. Can you tell us about your interest in the materials?
I am interested in discarded materials. I always get the hint of creating from the shape and texture of them. At first, I made them by many tools, for example, scissors, cutter, stapler, tape and so on. However, I took care of my mother and always massaged her. After her death, I remained the feeling of touching in my hands. Then, every material looked strong for me. So, without any tools except needle, I tear and rub the paper. Then, I stitch them with a minimum tool.
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