Kanako Abe

All photos courtesy of Kanako Abe on Instagram

One of my goals with this blog is to share unexpected and interesting contemporary art with kids. I love finding artists who are creating work that fits within this theme, knowing that I am providing exposure to work that is outside of what students in schools often see.

This week I am sharing the paper cut works by Kanako Abe. Abe is originally from Japan but is currently based in Seattle, Washington. She practices Kiri-e, which is the Japanese art of paper-cutting. Her designs are delicate and engaging for viewers of all ages. My experience with teaching and sharing art with children is that they have a unique appreciation for work that requires this level of detail and intricacy. Abe often uses botanical motifs in her work as well as imagery inspired by her surroundings in the Pacific North West region. Of one of her designs that incorporates hands, she says, “This piece was inspired by decluttering of the mind and letting go of the things and ideas that no longer serve.” This theme could easily apply to the art of paper-cutting in general, and is part of makes this art form so unique!

Discussion for Kids

  • Look at each of the images and identify the main subject of the artwork.

  • What theme do you think each of the artworks address?

  • Can you identify any of the flowers that Abe uses in her work?