The shapes in the air

Kayo Miyashita

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Isn’t there a saying that everyone and everything holds its unique significance? We have our senses to comprehend the intangible things around us. In the eyes of Kayo Miyashita, natural phenomena such as wind, light, water, the sky, and rain, all hold their own unique colors and shapes.

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“When you look at the clouds, the moon or the rain, they always appear the same. However, their forms are actually slowly changing.”

Debuting her first artwork in 1995, the Nagoya-born paper artist Kayo Miyashita specializes in making paper sculptures and hanging mobiles by using washi (traditional Japanese paper) and metal wires. Despite the sculpture’s properties, the works look fragile and tender.

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She adores the texture and patterns formed by the fabric of washi, which appears translucent but at the same time provides a certain firmness. A gentleness is formed when the paper is slightly bent. The metal wire gives the paper an intriguing structure as if it is turning it into an elastic dancer. “I am quite obsessed with changing the impressions of shapes.” It is not at all easy to change people’s impression of something once it is set in stone. But Miyashita’s consciousness of the fluidity of objects around her is similar to the state when someone focuses on one’s breath. The uncertainty can be captivating sometimes.

Every piece of the paper sculpture is immensely delicate, like the wind. It possesses a flowing fluidity that exudes the vibe of a series of quietly standing human. “When I stare at the objects illuminated by light, I feel colors. The wind is sweeping through my thoughts, I then have closed my eyes.” On planet earth, there are no two sets of sky and sea being completely identical. Miyashita attempts to grasp the image left in her heart after closing her eyes. “When my hands are moving, I feel like I am interacting with this conjured image in my mind.”

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It doesn’t take strong lights or blowing wind to arouse our senses. Sometimes it is the subtlety of breeze that makes us most aware of our feelings. Chanting softly is perhaps the new crescendo.