Japanese artist Nahoko Kojima has unveiled her latest handmade paper-cut sculpture ‘Shiro’, a life-sized depiction of a 32-metre-long blue whale, at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre for her debut solo show in Thailand.

Kojima’s inspiration for ‘Shiro’ came after she saw a whale in Hawaii. Then, after months of drawings and research into the mammal’s behavior, she started to create the piece showing in Bangkok.

Nahoko Kojima, had Japanese Washi paper custom-made for her in especially large sizes from a mill in Japan before it took the artist months to cut the two flat sheets in her central london studio. Kojima usually alters the designs as she cuts them, making it impossible to recreate similar works by digitising and mechanising her drawings.

In order to ship the work to Bangkok, the artist cut the finished sheet into clean squares which were then rolled and reassembled on site back into a single sheet. The key for Kojima was that the art was made using one continuous drawing in order to maintain a link to traditional Kirie (Japanes art of papercutting) even when hung as a sculpture.