Sapporo artisan artist creates cardboard animals with a touch of realism
SAPPORO – Suguru Yoshida, an art graduate from a university in northern Japan, elevated the ordinary practice of making cardboard animals to the realm of realism, with creations such as a tiger that seems to move and a fluffy sheep.
Yoshida, 29, says he chose cardboard because of his involvement in producing children’s play tools and toys using commonly available materials. He was drawn to cardboard because it is stronger than regular paper and lighter than wood.
Some of his works were exhibited in a section of an underground pedestrian crossing in central Sapporo at the end of October.
“I hope that many people will experience a sense of surprise and playfulness in art not only looking but also touching these objects,” he said of his presentations – a sheep and a turtle giant.
“Can you make this out of cardboard?” Asked a passerby.
“I thought it was made of wood,” said another.
Yoshida was admitted to the Sapporo City University Design School in the spring of 2013, hoping for a career in illustration or design, after a stint in the Land Self-Defense Force, which ‘he joined after graduating from another university in the prefecture in 2009..
One of his main works is a life-size tiger that emerges halfway up a screen. To express unique dynamics and texture, the laminated cardboard is scraped with a machine file and its surface is meticulously incised with scissors to create the appearance of hair.
An animal like this requires around 40 boxes and a fourth month of labor, he said.
In March 2015, Yoshida received an award of excellence for a cardboard salmon in a competition for Hokkaido artists, presented in an exhibition at the JR Tower in Sapporo.
Yoshida is currently working on a piece for her graduation next spring, with cardboard being her material of choice.
“After picking up too many boxes,” he said. “I just produce works just to reduce the stock.”
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