Aya Hodokawa, a Kirie Artist , was born in Hakodate City, Hokkaido, Japan in 1973.
Aya’s first experienced with Kirie (Paper Cutting Art) art works when she was in junior high school. She joined the “Kirie Art Club” by chance, but immediately fell in love with the world of Kirie Art. In the art club setting, the Kirie Art teacher prepared simple printed patterns and let the students select and work on a project. Aya wanted to learn a more advanced level and depth of Kirie art. She started to design her own patterns and created her own world of Kirie art. That was how she started as a Kirie artist.
“Try to make all the parts connect together, do not make independent parts,” her Kirie art teacher advised her. Today that is her principle method and style. You will see her amazing art works, all part connected. When you pick up a part the whole Kirie will be lifted. (All her art works are very delicate, therefore it is not recommended to try to lift it up. It would tear.)
Her amazing Kirie work ideas came from her childhood experiences. She has always been interested in animals since childhood and loved to read the encyclopedia of animals. When she read the book “The Chronicles of Narnia,” it inspired her. She started drawing her imaginary world’s creatures and designed her own Kirie patterns.
Kirie is her best hobby and the love of her life. She stopped making Kirie artwork at one point in time after she married and had a son. Now her son has grown up and she has more time, so she returned to her Kirie artworks again. The most wonderful things about Kirie art is that it doesn’t require a lot of space and the only tools needed are a cutter knife, cutting board and paper. In fact, her actual working station is in front of her personal computer. It is really a small space. That is the only place she can work so she cannot work on a big sized Kirie project. Aya always tries to design delicate and beautiful patterns with thin lines not to feel inferior when compared to big works. She usually makes post card size or notebook size works. Her thin lines are sometimes under 1mm, forming extreme beauty of a delicate sort.
Aya has a special technique for showing her works. She explained that Kirie is flat and looks like a drawing, but it is a three dimensional work. She always makes black and white patterns, cutting off the white parts leaving only black color. She says it is like “All (black) or nothing”. She never puts her works on the white paper with paste. She uses acrylic transparent sheets to frame her works. Aya uses the light to show those “shadows” and wants you to enjoy the beauty of three-dimensional Kirie world.
Currently, her work base is in Sapporo, however she is participating in art exhibitions around Japan.