• 12.14.11

Katsumi Hayakawa Carves Sprawling Cityscapes Out Of Paper

The artist’s multilayered works are abstract compositions rather than paper replicas.

In the past, we’ve written about artists who use paper to sculpt 3-D objects–from 18th-century-inspired hairpieces to typewriters–with a near-obsessive attention to detail. That’s not exactly Katsumi Hayakawa’s style. The Japanese-born, New York-based artist constructs densely layered sculptures that resemble, rather than replicate, overbuilt cityscapes.


Hayakawa erects boxes of varying heights along a grid, leaving voids in the volumes that create another level of complexity. Instead of reading as individual buildings, the structures form an abstract composition. “By keeping color to a minimum,” Hayakawa writes in his artist’s statement, “I am presenting a series of works made by trial-and-error thinking about the picture’s composition and structure from different angles.”

The result is one part papercraft, one part perspective drawing. Have a look-see for yourself in the above slideshow. Enjoy!

About the author

Belinda Lanks is the editorial director of Co.Design. Before joining, she was the managing editor of Metropolis.