Grate White Shark Skin, 2019
Hand cut paper, 91cm diameter
The patterns in this work are inspired by shark skin, exploring the line details in the ‘dermal denticles’ (skin teeth), which give the shark a unique hydrodynamic advantage. The work draws upon my family heritage by paying homage to the use of shark skin in Japanese culture. Shark skin is one of the materials used to cover Samurai sword handles, providing a strong grip for warriors. It is also used to create traditional oroshiki, which are graters for making wasabi, where shark skin is wrapped around a small paddle and turns the root into a paste. Initially a topic I was once unfamiliar with, sharks have now become a creature and cultural reference that I’ve found visual and historical connections with.