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Visual Arts

Pretty Exciting Stuff: Papercutting

Learn about slowing down through papercutting with artist Ashley Yeo.


Published: 2 Nov 2021

Time taken : <5mins

Episode 6: Slow Down in Place

How do simple mundane materials such as paper turn into intricate lace-like patterns and delicate pieces of art? Embark on a paper cutting journey with Ashley Yeo as she introduces the art of slowing down through paper cutting, along with Parry, an ex-army regular.

Video reproduced with permission from the National Arts Council.

About paper cutting

Papercutting first appeared during the Han Dynasty in China after the invention of paper. Typically, intricate lace-like patterns are cut out continuously from a single piece of paper, not requiring the use of binding agents like glue. While simple in material, paper cuttings come to life through careful planning, precision, skill and patience. This art form has many iterations in cultures across the world, such as kirigami in Japan and scherenschnitte in Germany.

About Ashley Yeo

Ashley Yeo is an artist whose practice revolves around themes of lightness and slowness. She specialises in mostly drawing and papercutting. Ashley was the first Singaporean artist to be shortlisted for the 2018 LOEWE Craft Prize. 

Further exploration

Try your hands at some basic paper cutting.

Read more about the history of paper cutting.

Discover contemporary Asian paper cut artists.

Pretty Exciting Stuff

Commissioned by National Arts Council (Singapore), Pretty Exciting Stuff is an ongoing video series featuring conversations between everyday Singaporeans and our talented visual artists. Get to know our local artists and their mediums and see what goes on behind the scenes of this exciting stuff called visual arts!

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