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Jeff Nishinaka

The Paper Genius


Jeff Nishinaka carves and pinches paper to create intricate paper sculptures. The 52-year-old Los Angeles
based illustrator and sculptor has been refining his paper craft since 1982. Taking anywhere from three days to
four months to produce, Jeff's detailed pieces range from 8in by 8in to 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide

Jeff Nishinaka cuts and crushes the paper with an enviable skill to create exquisite paper sculptures. 52-year-old illustrator
and sculptor from Los Angeles creates his work from 1982.
All copyrights belong to the artist The stunning elegance of Jeff Nishinaka’s paper art calls for a new definition of paper. His meticulous sculptural 3D work
Jeff Nishinaka appears to have been created from marble or extremely fine sand or vanilla ice cream or thick foam — definitely of
something other than “just” paper. The Los Angeles-born artist works mainly with white, which makes the exquisite play
http://www.jeffnishinaka.com/ of light and shadow a large part of the appeal of his work.
One might assume that there is very little demand for work that uses one medium and one color. Not so. Nishinaka’s work
pops up everywhere in the most unexpected places, from medical illustrations of the structure of the eye, to private portrait
commissions, to a life-size garden for a hotel.

He has a prolific career working in advertising, fashion and fine art, and also creating some larger installations. His
commercial work includes commissions for fashion catalogues for Bloomingdales and Galeries Lafayette, advertising work
for Visa, Coca Cola, Playboy, American Airlines, Toyota and Mattel. Even the colourful characters of Disney’s Lion
King — Pumbaa, Timon, Rafiki et.al. — look absolutely stunning in Nishinaka’s white paper world. If you want to see a
lot of Nishinaka’s work in one place, you need to talk to his personal friend, actor Jackie Chan, the owner of the largest
Nishinaka collection. -

Jeff’s paper sculpting career has spanned 28 years, and his commercial portfolio includes clients such as Bloomingdale’s,
Visa, Penn State University, Paramount Pictures, Harvard Medical School, Random House, and Mattel, for whom he
designed these beautiful, custom Barbie sets
"The largest installation I did for the hotel« ANA Hotel »in Tokyo - said Jeffrey. - It was a tree with birds, grass and fish. The entire
sculpture was about 6 meters in height, 6 meters wide and 3 meters in depth. (JEFFREY NISHINAKA / BARCROFT USA)
"Everything starts with an idea, then do research, and only then work's draft drawings. After that, I am perfect in outline, then paint
the final version of the pencil on the sculpture. The final figure is a blue dye for the sculpture. Picture of "broken" into individual
pieces and transferred to the rear side of the paper. Then cut out the pieces, clean, give shape and glued. This is a very long and l
aborious process. " (JEFFREY NISHINAKA / BARCROFT USA)
Jeffrey worked
as an artist and
his career has created
hundreds of paper
sculptures.
"I use very simple
tools: forceps,
mechanical pencil,
toothpicks, knives,
a matrix for cutting,
curve and triangles
and a small rounded
wooden peg,"
-says Jeffrey.

(JEFFREY NISHINAKA /
-BARCROFT USA)
The works have the effect of 3D thanks to several layers of paper and adequate lighting. The artist uses
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco paper from 100% cotton, so it does not yellow with the years. (JEFFREY NISHINAKA / BARCROFT USA)
The actor Jackie Chan - a close friend of the artist
Brooklyn Bridge
A presentation by Nubia
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