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Dewi Kucu The Pioneer of Cutteristic Art in Indonesia

Dewi Kucu The Pioneer of Cutteristic Art in Indonesia

People

There will never be an ending when talking about art. Moreover if it’s about paper art. A woman who chooses India, Morocco, and Bali as her favorite travel destination is an artist and also a pioneer of paper cutting in Indonesia. Who is she? She is Dewi Kucu. She has already created extraordinary paper cutting arts. Want to know more about her art world? Check out our interview with Dewi Kucu below!

You are known as a Cutteristic artist. Can you tell us about cutteristic itself?

Cutteristic is an art of cutting thin paper with a scissor that came from China. This art already founded since the 6th century after they found paper. In Indonesia, I promoted paper cutting with just using regular carton and cutter.

Since when did you start this paper cutting art?

It started since the end of 2010, at the moment I was still working in an office when I see a simple paper cutting on a fashion magazine. The first time I try it, I used a carton that was used for catalogue with a clean back side and a small scissor. Since there were some parts which are hard to reach using a scissor, I finished it with cutter. After my second work until now, I always finish it with cutter. I used a carton that was used for catalogue for my first three works. And then in 2011, I started to receive orders commercially and make “Cutteristic” for the brand that came from the words of Cutter and Artistic which means an artistic paper cutting art using cutter.

Wow! How very creative you are! Does making this art need certain skill?

Every people’s hand expertise is different, they who are used to create handicrafts, drawings, or paintings usually have more expertise rather than they who are not used to make handicrafts which need a high accuracy. The more the practice, the neater and smoother the cutting result. The point is to practice diligently. Our skills always need to be sharpened.

If we may know, what are the materials that are needed to make this paper cutting art?

The materials and tools needed are very simple, which are carton or thick paper (you can use drawing book papers), and a regular cutter. No need to look for special cutter, because it is not the tool that determines the cutting results, but the skill and the accuracy of our hands that needs to be practiced. “It is not the tool that makes an art, it is the skill”.

Do you give private tutorial?

Yes. For beginners, I provide a starter kit which you can buy from the website. There are dozens of designs that can be used for learning. I also provide a portal: free download pattern. This portal destined for those who still want to learn more about harder patterns. I will hold a private course if you want to learn how to make paper cutting arts, starting from how to cut the paper neatly to how to design a work.

Can you mention the things you like when making Cutteristic? Why?

Seeing the process of a simple paper turned into a beautiful page, finishing a small and detailed patterns that feels so challenging, and also seeing a beautiful shadow as the effect from the sheets of paper cutting.

How big Cutteristic changed your life?

I have found that Cutteristic is my passion, after what I have learned all this time from my education and work life for 7 years. This makes me able to develop Cutteristic until now. Finally, I have decided to dedicate all of my time to develop paper cutting until all Indonesian people can be familiar with it.

Is there any paper cutting artist who became your inspiration? What do you like from him/her?

My inspirations when I start paper cutting are Bovey Lee and Hina Aoyama, because they made their works very detail and full of philosophy.

You are the pioneer and known as the first paper cutting artist in Indonesia, and now you already have many customers who ordered your work. Have you ever encountered any obstacles when receiving orders from customers?

Since I teach a lot and my works have been published on media, there are many other artists starting to show up. The hitch from the client usually about the size of the photo that is not big enough so I can’t see the detail of the face clearly, hahaha. This caused more revisions that have to be done than usual. Or if the order came all of sudden and it is for an important client, so I have to reschedule the production to make all of the order deadlines can be finished according to my plan.

How long does it take to make one paper cutting work?

It depends on the paper size for a face sketch, but it usually takes 3-30 hours. I once made a gift for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) with the size of 100x120 cm and finished it after 30 hours. 

What is your definition of success?

When paper cutting is known as a genre of art and as Indonesian handicraft. When there are more people from all over Indonesia know and do paper cutting, because the material and the tools are easy to be found in all household. That is when creativity is processed into an amazing work.

How do you imagine yourself for the next 10 years?

10 years from now, I will be 40 years old. I want to have a big art gallery that displays my paper cutting works in big sizes or a very complex one. Have many partners that help me on cutting the work and make “Paper Cutting City” where there are many Cutteristic artists.