Whatever you do with your old papers, it’s probably nowhere near as cool as this!

As a native of Fuji City in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, paper artist Chie Hitotsuyama grew up around paper. Shizuoka has been home to many paper factories and her family has operated one such plant for generations. So it’s no surprise that after struggling to find her voice as an illustrator, Hitotsuyama would return to a medium that she is so intimately familiar with.

However, it’s not the medium that makes what she does so special; rather, it’s what she does that is inspiring awe in the art world and beyond.

▼ The jackrabbit is a piece featured in one of the artist’s current exhibitions

Using only strips of paper and glue, she meticulously places each roll of paper by hand to achieve the desired texture and coloring that adds further dimension and character to each piece.

Being able to see each individual piece of rolled-up paper on a piece this large gives you a sense of just how much time and dedication must have been given to each of these works.

The artist says that the only time she uses something other than the newspaper and glue for her sculptures is when the work measures over two meters (6.56 feet); at that point, she’ll create a wooden skeleton, presumably as a support structure.

Hitotsuyama’s works have been featured in museums and galleries throughout Japan and in 2016, she has had opportunities to share her works in the U.S. as well.

▼ These walruses are just chillin’

Creating art by re-purposing materials may be nothing new, but the scale, technique, and beauty with which these sculptures have been created is surely a testament to Chie Hitotsuyama’s craft.

Sources: boredpanda, Kokusai Pulp & Paper Co., Ltd. 
Featured Image: Instagram/hitotsuyama.studio