Leave it to an artist to shine a spotlight on something intended to be hidden, even if that something is one of her own tools. Take masking tape, for example. It’s intended to be used by painters to block off the areas of the space they’re painting on which they don’t want paint to fall. But a young Japanese artist by the name of Nasa Funahara is using masking tape as a medium to recreate some of the most famous paintings in history.
Funahara (whose first name was given to her because she was born the day that Japanese astronaut Mamoru Mohri flew into space on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour) is an art student at Musashino Art University majoring in oil painting…and collecting masking tape of every color imaginable. In Japan, masking tape is often used for decorative purposes, so a much more diverse assortment of it is available than here in the States. At last count, Funahara’s collection totaled 450 rolls. Rather than just store them in the most cluttered junk drawer ever, she uses her collection to produce incredibly detailed homages to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper and Mona Lisa, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
According to the Japanese art, design, and culture site Spoon & Tamago, “Each work is fairly large – about the size of a tatami mat, she says – and takes about 1 week to complete. Funahara works from an image of the painting in front of her but primarily uses freehand to cut and paste the bits of masking tape as she builds out her creation.”
For more of Funahara’s work, check out her portfolio on Loftwork — and let us know what you think of it below!