Artists from around the world continue to amaze us with their intricate creations made from humble paper, and this time we've found ourselves in awe of these whimsical illustrations from artist Bovey Lee, who uses just a knife to cut out her spectacular scenes. Born in Hong Kong and now based Pennsylvania, her work delicately exposes contemporary environmental and social issues like tsunamis and forced labor.
Power, sacrifice, and survival are the underlying narratives of her work, which she defines by “drawing with a knife”. Tsunami nightmares, scenes from the sea, child labor and aspirational lifestyles are beautifully represented by Lee’s art. Armed with a paper knife, Chinese rice paper and a load of patience, this Hong Kong artist shows us how versatile a simple white sheet of paper can be.
Lee works with Chinese rice paper on silk, which are both natural, renewable and culturally significant materials. She first sketches the sheets by hand, and then creates a digital rendering as a visual guide — using her own and internet images. From there she handcuts the illustration with an X-Acto knife, and countless hours later, she has her final piece.
Working within the paradox of fragile cutouts and dramatic stories, this artist has shown her work worldwide, including in a show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts in Beijing — to name a few.
Photos © Bovery Lee