Writing With Paper, Not on It: An Artist's 3D Paper Letters

Bianca Chang urges us to reconsider the potential of paper by transforming thin, blank sheets into complex sculptures

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Bianca Chang takes hundreds of sheets of paper to create her unique paper typefaces. Using 80-grams-per-square-meter 100-percent-post-consumer-waste recycled paper, she stacks precisely cut pages to create 3D paper letters. Inspired by the shadow play of more conventional sorts of sculptural 3D letters—specifically, the way the lighting shifts in and out of the form—Chang wanted to re-create a similar effect using paper.

Chang had worked as a print designer, so she chose paper as her medium. "It's so beautifully tactile and simple," she explains, "but is often too easy discarded." She wanted to make something permanent out of a medium that is usually regarded as expendable.

To make the letter, Change hand-cuts the outline of the shape on multiple sheets of stacked paper. It takes anywhere from 180 to 200 sheets of hand-cut letters to create an entire sculpture. So far she has crafted T, O, V and A—a selection based on projects for her friends with names beginning with each letter: T for Tom, V for Vivian, A for Andy and Annabel, and O for ... O: The Oprah Magazine.

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Watch her creation process below:

The making of A from Bianca Chang on Vimeo.

Images: Courtesy of Bianca Chang

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Rebecca Greenfield is a former staff writer at The Wire.

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