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Paper as A Sustainable Medium of Art

Paper is always capable of  benefiting and bringing inspiration to human life. In our previous article, we explained how paper evolved to become an essential part of human life and culture. 

We use some form of paper daily, from books to tissue paper to cash. When you order takeaway food, it's usually served in paperboard packaging. Well, the list goes on, but we're here to remind you that paper has become a medium that inspires us to create meaningful work of art and creativity. 

Not only a surface for paintings, drawings, and calligraphy, but now paper itself has also been used as the primary material of art. Jian Yang's art of "sustainable fashion" is a great example. 

He basically makes tissue paper dresses for his toy collection whenever he travels. People call Jian's artwork sustainable fashion because tissue paper, the primary material of his work, is friendly to the environment. It's biodegradable, recyclable, and compostable. And with sustainable practices, you can be sure that it comes from renewable sources. And it is true for all kinds of paper, not just tissue. You can learn more about how we source our raw materials here

"Paper as a material is already known to be biodegradable, recyclable, and even compostable. Fabric doesn't enjoy the same positive connotations," Jian said to us in an interview recently. Oh, if you haven't already, you can read the full QnA here [link to QnA with Jian]!

Jian is not the only one who transforms paper into incredible works of art. One problem with working with pure artistic expression is that it doesn't always pay. That's why many people only create art for hobbies, and many artists learn to make the most of what's available, like in a circular economy. 

So sustainable practice actually is not something new for artists. Maybe you already knew that you could create material to sculpt by making papier mâché. Just add a little water to a stack of reclaimed newspapers, and voila! You can start building your new masterpiece.

Designer Charles Kaisin takes this into a whole new level by keeping old newspapers and magazines in their original form. He glues them into a honeycomb material that is as strong as wood and can be folded and glued into furniture. Yes, you read it right: furniture. They are functional, durable, and, you guess it … more sustainable. It's easy to create one, and you can learn about it here.


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If you think that this is already amazing, prepare yourself for the next one. Korean-New Zealander designer WooJai Lee takes this to an even higher level by creating paper bricks! He turns discarded newspapers into a pulp, mixes in wood glue, and presses it into moulds  to form bricks. As commented by this article, the 2-inch-thick bricks measure 4 inches wide by 11.8 inches long and have a marble-like surface reminiscent of the Turkish Ebru art form.

Once you know someone already making bricks out of paper, you know the possibilities are endless. You can follow their steps by turning to your used paper at home and experiment with them without being afraid of damaging the environment (as long as you're careful!).

Having creative ideas is excellent, and everyone can have one. But, in the end, it's not about how good your ideas are, but what you can do about them. Just like these artists, we can also try to create art with more eco-friendly materials now. With the spirit of #GrowingOurTomorrow, let's create a better future together through art.

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