“A plain flat sheet of paper is the starting point for expressing my mood or satisfying a sculptural urge,” notes Akiko Sugiyama. It is easy to see the creative energy of her mind and richness of her talent when looking at her exquisite paper collages.
Sugiyama’s work is a blend of Eastern and Western esthetics. She graduated from the Women’s College of Fine Arts in Tokyo with a BA in Oil Painting, where she concentrated on European art and techniques. However, her Asian heritage remained a major creative factor in her work.
The materials and detail in her work are a study in perfection, both delicate and spiritual. Yet the expressiveness of the work can be Western. “The Japanese influence on my work is unavoidable since I was born and raised in that culture. Today I allow my works to be honest to myself, including my early influences, particularly Japanese children’s tales that I heard in my early years of life. These former fantasies and feelings thus impart a flavor to many present day experiences in the United States,” notes Sugiyama.
Working with rice or parchment paper, she paints it and then rolls, folds, cones, curls, crushes, pierces, cuts or rends it into compositions that reveal the artistic aspects of paper. She explores both the cultural and artistic aesthetics in her collages, giving us a rich body of work.
Sugiyama has exhibited at Philadelphia Museum of Art (PA), The Morikami Museum (FL), Atlanta International Museum of Art and Design (GA), Georgia Museum of Art, Orlando Museum of Art (FL) Deland Museum of Art (FL) and the Tampa Museum of Art (FL).