When you think of the possibility of wearing sheets of white paper, I am sure the image is not especially glamorous. Ukraine paper artist Asya Kozina stretches her medium, and your view of it, past its conventional barriers. Using only regular white paper, she cuts, folds, and shapes intricate forms. Works move between the worlds of fashion and decorative-applied art. Asya Kozina designs life-sized sculptures, wedding dresses, masks, and Baroque style wigs. All of Asya’s creations are made 100% out of paper, right down to the carefully cut out paper lace and paper mesh. To me, the most striking aspects of these fashionable art pieces are the very involved large headdresses that span feet from the model in height and width, and drape with paper beads and other free hanging elements.
Asya creates for the enjoyment of the aesthetics, as she describes on her site.
“I don’t understand any other material as well. I take paper and it’s a continuation of my hands. For the most part, it’s art for art’s sake, aesthetics for the sake of aesthetics, there is no practical point.” ∼ Asya Kozina
Greatly inspired by traditional wedding attire especially Mongolian culture, which is probably the biggest influence in her work. Asya’s behind-the-scenes process starts with researching historical cultures and their way of dress. From beginning to end, it takes Asya Kozina about a month to bring an idea to physical form. Reasoning behind the lack of color use is to accentuate form and detail in the work. Elegantly curled about itself with designs pasted over each other, paper accessories such as scarves and bracelets accent the paper apparel. Accessories also work to create movement in an otherwise stiffer material. When not using a live model, the artist uses paper to sculpt life-sized figures adorned with her elaborate paper costumes.
In addition to making art, Asya Kozina is very involved in providing arts programs for children in her community. Asya is currently working to expand her “Wedding Dresses of the Peoples of the World” series, and participating in the Gridchinhall Gallery art residency.