Inco Matsui uses paper in imaginative ways. Since 2006, the Osaka-born Japanese artist has worked with paper as a medium to recreate world famous cities, in the miniature. Her version of Tokyo, is just a few inches tall.
Cutting meticulously away, she spends weeks and sometimes months assembling little shops, restaurants, and skyscrapers.
Japanese artist Inco Matsui creates mini cities using paper and glue.
Matsui says she chooses to work with paper and glue because it's easily accessible and, at the time when she began her practice, few were using it.
"There were so many different and great miniature artists at the time, so I decided to choose something different. Paper provides a gentle and warm atmosphere to work with," Matsui explains.
Her paper architecture includes dramatic views of the city's skyline, but also provides an intimate look at smaller details, like shop signs and traffic stops.
Prior to building the works, she spends months at a time, researching the visuals of each city to accurately depict them. Her Tokyo project took half a year to complete.
An emotional journey
Matsui created Tokyo based on memories from her youth, growing up in the city during the 1980s.
Matsui reconstructed the Tokyo from her youth.
"I chose a nostalgic approach in order to share the experience with those who have not visited Tokyo in the past. This way, I'm able to share the good memories of someone who knows the city."
While Matsui is most known for recreating Tokyo, her favorite is her hometown Osaka, the first paper city she created.
"I really missed my family, so it allowed me to feel closer to them," she explains.
Matsui's version of Coney Island
Now that she lives in New York, she creates mini worlds from her adopted city, including Coney Island. Her paper metropolises have appeared in exhibitions around the world.
Despite the patience required to create these miniature cities, Matsui considers the minor details to be the most exciting part of her art.
Moving beyond cities, Matsui has incorporated dreamier themes into her work.