There’s letter art, and then there’s Bianca Chang‘s letter art. Chang, an Australian designer, take entire reams of paper and hand-slices them, subtly altering her cuts with each page, to produce 3-D typographic paper sculptures that, from some angles, appear to twist into the wall ad infinitum, like some kind of Escherian head screw.
Chang started cutting paper toward the end of last year. “At the time I was working in the branded environments team of a Sydney design studio and was inspired by the beautiful simplicity of tone-on-tone signage and the shadow play of 3-dimensional letterforms as the lighting changed around them,” she tells Co.Design. “I wanted to re-create this effect with paper.”
So wielding nothing more than a pencil, a ruler, a compass, a blade and loads of paper (all 100% waste-recycled), she set about meticulously building letters in bas relief, first designing a basic letterform, then replicating its shape on each subsequent layer of paper, but at a slightly different angle to create that seductive spiral effect. A single sculpture is made of a whopping 180 to 200 sheets of paper and takes between eight and 100 man hours, depending on the size and intricacy of the letter form. The price tag also hinges on complexity and can stretch from $500 to $5,000.
Chang takes private commissions from across the board (clients so far have included birthday well-wishers and Oprah’s magazine). Moral of the story: If you want to replace the crappy, countrified personalized plaque over the fireplace that your mother got you from the Lilian Vernon catalog with something that could moonlight in a modern art museum, Chang’s the woman for the job. Interested folks can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.