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Digital technology has long detracted from the idea of using paper as a medium for artistic expression. Despite these advances in technology, we are still drawn back to the tangible, familiar and comforting canvas of paper.

Using paper as an art form actually extends beyond the traditional pen, pencil or paint. Paper art is multidimensional, flexible and intricate. We’re not just talking about origami or high school paper planes here… but marveling at the cutting, carving folding and sculpting of paper to create incredible 3D paper sculptures.

Check out 5 of the most astounding works of paper art from incredible artists around the globe.

1. Umi no Ue no Oshiro (A Castle On the Ocean ) – Wataru Itou

This installation by Japanese student Wataru Itou was featured in Umihotaru in 2009.

This masterpiece was completely handmade and took four years to complete. The finishing touches include electric lights and a moving train.

Article 10 Wataru Itou

2. Paper Portraits – Bert Simons

The paper portraits collection by Dutchman Bert Simons, really brings paper to life through his incredibly realistic paper torsos of various men and women. Having used a photo to model the structure out of mesh, Bert successfully created paper replicas of his subjects completely out of paper.

Article 10 Bert Simons

3. Atomic Jellyfish – Bovey Lee

American based, Chinese artist Bovey Lee creates masterpieces out of cut paper, such as the one pictured here. Having started her career in America as a painter in 1993, Bovey turned to the 3 dimensional world of cut paper art in 2005.  Her work now appears in over a dozen books, and she has created collections for Christian Dior, the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford University; Hong Kong Museum of Art; BNY Mellon Corporate Art Collection; Fidelity Corporate Art Collection; Progressive Corporate Art Collection; and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Article 10 Bovey Lee

4. Transparent God – Peter Callesen

Danish artist Peter Callesen’s large scale paper cuts are nothing short of magnificent. In fact they are absolutely mind blowing!  His recent works, including the one pictured here, deal primarily with white paper. While he loves working with A4 sheets of paper for much of his work, the large scale pieces are obviously an exception.  This piece uses a 350 x 450 x 170 sheet of paper, and is made purely from acid-free 140gsm paper and glue.

Article 10 Peter Callesen

5. Every single sculpture by Allen and Patty Eckman

It’s hard to believe this large, incredibly detailed sculpture is made entirely out of paper. American artists (and husband and wife!) Allen and Patty Eckman, combined their talents and took paper art to a whole new level.  Their sculptures are focused around Native American culture, inspired by Allen’s great-great grandmother who was a Cherokee. The couple’s work is now on permanent display at Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA.

Article 10 Allen and Patty Eckman 

The amount of incredible artists from around the world, creating masterpieces and pushing the limits with the humble piece of paper is truly inspiring. Going back to traditional mediums and using simple materials such as an A4 piece of paper, large scale paper or pages from magazines or books can really produce amazing effects.

In all cases these artworks bring new life to paper as a medium and celebrate the imagination and talent of these amazing artists.  

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