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Kako Ueda makes art using an intricate Japanese style paper-cut technique that many would find in the art of making stencils and Kimonos. A Xacto knife is the instrument of choice for this artist and it’s amazing what can be made using a sharp blade and some paper. Repped by Smack Mellon Gallery, we caught up with intricate paper cutter to find out more about how this mind slicing art that takes on a sort of highly advanced Rorschach test quality. Kako answered all our questions and shows us how to play with cellulose.


Tell us about how you make your art. What’s your process: I hand cut paper of organic beings that go though stages from birth, growth (metamorphosis), sickness/decay, and death. I draw then cut the paper with a Xacto knife.
Who is your Art for? It is not for me to decide.
What is your Art supposed to do? Art is beyond “supposed to”.
What is your art worth? It is worth looking at least once.
What single work of art would you most like to destroy? That would be the one I made back in…, actually it is a good reminder so I am keeping it.
Name one crappy “Artist”: One who thinks he is the best there is. Now name another one: One who thinks she is the best there is.
Best museum: La Specola, Florence, Italy Worst museum: My memory bank
Describe the finest moment of your artistic endeavors: I was about 3 or 4 drawing butterflies with crayons–pure bliss, didn’t care/worry about anything or anybody.
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NOW GET DOWN AND GIVE US 19
1. Favorite ANIMAL: Have so many: spider, cat, owl, and humans.
2. What gets you excited? An idea, a situation, a person/animal that triggers my brain to see mundane in a different light.
3. Worst Job: To do something I hate for hours without any breaks Dream job: To do something I love that ends up helping people, animal or environment.
4. Best kept secret about NYC: A small image archive.
5. What would you do if you found A LOT of cash in a cab? I first scream “Oh my…” then report it to the police.
6. Favorite website: Is this a trick question? Most embarrassing favorite website: This is a trick question, isn’t it?
7. Early bird or night owl? I like morning light.
8. Motto, mantra, words of advice, or favorite quote: “Average or Below” by the Scher brothers.
9. Name your favorite ISM: Ism scares me
10. If you invented a recreational drug, what would it be called? ”Laugh it Off”
11. What’s the greatest thing the internet has given mankind? To reach anybody anywhere on the planet who can afford a computer.
12. Who owes you something? No one.
13. How would you run the zoo? Give a lot of space.
14. How do you kill time? Time is killing me.
15. Favorite watering hole: I don’t drink much.
16. Are you looking for anyone you’ve lost contact with? (maybe we could help.) No.
17. Do you need anything really bad? Another hand to cut paper with.
18. Any tips for the kids? Enjoy being you.
19. Shout outs: I need a studio space after March, 2007!