* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Mayuko Fujino is a self-taught papercut artist from Tokyo currently based in New York City. She has been practicing her art since 1999 and takes a new approach to Japanese traditional paper cutout technique by combining it with collage and other materials. The dual-layered structure of Fujino’s paper cutouts and collages corresponds to her experience of living between the Japanese traditional value of collective orientation and the concept of individualism found in western culture. Using this structure, Fujino creates fantastical narratives based on joy and psychological conflict caused by both drawing and crossing the lines between the self and others. In her fantasy, figures sometimes fly freely, melting into each other or merging with birds and plants, while at other times becoming conjoined to their own inner monsters. All are adorned with glimpses of reality: collage pieces taken from magazine pages featuring landscapes, fabric textures, garden greenery, nude pinups, etc. These images are also a reflection of Fujino’s sense of liberation from the old values and simultaneous loss of her roots as an immigrant. In the world today the difficulties of drawing lines as well as accepting others’ values have become a pressing matter. Fujino’s artwork is a part of this larger story.