I first saw the work of Kinya Hanada (a.k.a. Mumblion and Mumbleboy) last year, when a friend of mine sent me a link to his work. At the time, I was doing some paper mache and she thought that seeing what he does would inspire me. Not only did it inspire me, but it totally blew me away. His intense, wonderful sense of color and pattern immediately grabbed me. The more time I spent looking at his work, the more I wanted to create some paper mache things of my own. What really struck me though is the process he goes through to build his paper mache creations. It's not just about putting shapes together to form these new creations, but it's about reusing things that would otherwise be seen as trash. His paper mache robots are some of my faves and are a good example of how he reuses discarded materials.
paper robots in progress by Kinya Hanada
Here's an example of how Kinya builds the robot. Using a variety of discarded plastics and papers, he begins to cut things apart and rearranges them to form new shapes. Once the robot shape is done, he starts the paper mache process by adding paper and glue, covering up all the "trash" underneath. I love and admire this idea and way of working and it's made me look at what we recycle a bit differently. I find myself holding onto pieces that might make an interesting arm, leg, eye or ear.
front & back of a finished paper robot by Kinya Hanada
And here's a finished robot - I love it! The color & pattern is really great. Someday, I'd like to get one for my collection. As with the piece above, many of Kinya's pieces are covered in fun, bright colors and have some sort of pattern on them. Check out these wonderful pieces from an installation in 2007 called "Super Heroes Return."
Super Heroes Return, by Mumblion • various sizes, paper mache
I love variety of characters in this picture. I also love the fact that he constructed and painted a unique stand for all of them to stand on. So fun! But my favorite piece from the show is this one. Co-created with artist Eric Mast (a.k.a. E*rock), I love how big he is, the simple primary colors and the pattern. It grabs your eye and commands your attention right away.
here is the giant being built, in progress...
...and here is the final piece, in the gallery
This piece makes me think of many things, but what I love about it is that it's so simple. Constructed of boxes, it is transformed into something else. I love that.
Mumbreeze • paper mache animals
In addition to creating things as Mumblion or Mumbleboy, Kinya and his wife, Kao also make a lot of work together. Some of these pieces, like the ones above, can be found on their Etsy store, Mumbreeze. It is this work that I originally fell in love with. It is creatures like these that also appeared in a wonderful installation they did together in 2008 called "Heroes of the Forest."
Kinya & Kao Hanada • Heroes of the Forest, Hanna Gallery , Tokyo, Japan
I just *love* this installation. Although it's not very big, it's so fun and imaginative that I find myself creating stories as I look at it. Successful dioramas do that - they remove you from where you currently are and give you a glimpse of another place. It's wonderfully magical.
All images taken from Kinya's flickr page, Mumblion.