The crass thing to do here would be to serve up some toilet gags, but with art this beautifully executed, it just wouldn’t sit flush. Japanese artist Yuken Teruya works with everyday objects to craft wonderfully intricate worlds, producing art out of the mundane and discarded. Cardboard toilet paper rolls are one medium for his creative expression, but he has also worked with pizza boxes, McDonald’s bags, flags and more.
On his website, Teruya writes:
Toilet rolls sprouting spreading branches are hung to create a hanging on the wall or hanging down from the ceiling. There is a moment when the hanging cut-out-parts start holding their branches and leaves on their own strength. It is as if I’m helping the paper awakens its ability to be an individual tree.
With no materials added and nothing taken away, Teruya cultivates miniature forests using his own deft skill and simple tools to cut out the shapes and fold the paper into place. What was once a tree is arboreally reborn. And if, like less privileged paper products, these art works are ever disposed of, they will help to fertilise future forests.
Such works are part of Teruya’s wider project of transforming the meaning of commonplace items in order to explore wider issues in contemporary culture. These include its “growing consumerism” and problems associated with globalism such as “depleting natural resources”. Way to give us the heads up.