A Paper-cut World II

So the papercutting train continues (read the previous paper-cut world post here) this time with works by Leah Wong and Joe Bagley…two very different types of paper practice. I got an overwhelming response to the last blog post I did, purely because of the kindness of artist Jimmy Brunt, who shared my words with all his Facebook and Twitter followers…because of that I got some lovely words of feedback, which is really what any blogger is after…engagement with your public. So THANK YOU Jimmy!

I can’t remember how I came across Leah Wong‘s installations but I like their site-specific nature along with their sheer magnitude, which makes you think about the enduring man hours that have gone into their creation. She is originally from Qingdao, China, where her work aims to ‘presents an allegory of the human mind and its activities. Through representations of imagined creatures, I portray a landscape of metaphorical life, emotions and dreams. I intend to make my paper-cut creatures be a theater of characters offering a glimpse of beauty and energy. My art-making activity is an ongoing search for space, and a negotiation involving Eastern and Western cultures as well as value and system.’ One of the images I uploaded, ‘Perception’ (2012) that is hung above a staircase, made me stop for a moment…I recognise that tiny staircase from Shanghai??? It’s the Elisabeth de Brabant Gallery where I spent many an evening with friends and colleagues. And after checking Leah’s CV I was right. Funny how easily recognisable something is sometimes.

Leah Wong 'Ice Dance' (2013) hand-cut velum paper, enamel, tree branchs82 x 80 inches
Leah Wong ‘Ice Dance’ (2013) hand-cut velum paper, enamel, tree branchs
82 x 80 inches
Leah Wong 'Perception' (2012) hand-cut paper134 x 36 inches
Leah Wong ‘Perception’ (2012) hand-cut paper
134 x 36 inches
Leah Wong 'Dream Streme' (2012) ink, acrylic and hand-cut paper
Leah Wong ‘Dream Streme’ (2012) ink, acrylic and hand-cut paper
Leah Wong 'Vulnerable Planet' (2010) paper hand-cut papers, canvas, wood, plastic and enamel on wall and floor, various dimensions
Leah Wong ‘Vulnerable Planet’ (2010) paper hand-cut papers, canvas, wood, plastic and enamel on wall and floor, various dimensions
Leah Wong 'Beach' (2010) hand-cut paper
Leah Wong ‘Beach’ (2010) hand-cut paper

I came across Papercuts by Joe just by chance, I think through Twitter the other day, and liked his contemporary scenes, his simple articulation of modern-day events and happenings, witty and pretty damn nice. He sees paper as ‘a simple object with a deep and complex history.  For thousands of years people have been cutting paper, transforming it into folk art as unique and diverse as their cultures.  My work is part of a new American Papercut style reflecting various folk styles with a new and modern approach to subject and form.  Each of my pieces is cut by hand from a single sheet of black paper, and mounted to white illustration board using archival adhesive. The intricacies of my work reflect my desire to push the physical boundaries of this medium. With each piece, I challenge myself to increase the complexity of my work while also creating a work that is visually engaging.  I enjoy the challenge of portraying depth, texture, and drama with two-tone black and white.’ Joe has a fantastic blog too about all this activities…take a look if your world is paper.

Joe, like Leah, and the other paper artists I spoke about last time, I feel are all trying to blur the line between art, craft and in an American sense folk art, I’m not sure what we’d call it in the UK. They are redefining paper in such contemporary parameters…loving this papercut below.

Joe 2

Joe 5



Joe 3

Joe 6


  1. It’s Leah Wong’s installation work which really takes my breath away. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything in papercutting quite like it.

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