Korean artist Yoo Hyu is ready to challenge the idea of paper as common or blank. Her new project is possible thanks to an x-acto knife and precision as she cuts sheets of paper into delicate portraits of celebrities. Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso and many more come alive with her delicate slivers of paper and her attention to detail. The portraits are fragile and flexible, as paper always is, but extremely beautiful, especially when held against a dark backdrop. Hyun’s signature presentation is each of the portraits against a big splash of black paint or ink. The contrast between the whiteness of the paper and the black backdrop gives life to the celebrities. The paper she cuts is completely white, but the blackness of the paint or ink escapes through the tiny cuts of the canvas, giving shape to the portrait.
All the portraits look the same when looked at up close. Each is made by diagonal cuts shaped into the features of each of the faces. Hyun then uses a pair of tweezers to pick away the remnants of the paper. Viewers must step away from the sheet of paper in order to appreciate the face looking back from the artwork.