Chigiri s a Japanese art form in which the primary technique uses colored paper that is torn to create images, and may resemble a water color painting. The technique dates from the Heian period of Japanese history when it was often used in conjunction with calligraphy. Handmade paper is essential for the creation of chigiri-e images. If you just saw chigiri-e from a distance, it looks similar to a water color or sometimes an oil painting. But, then upon closer inspection you realize that the image is actually created with paper and it takes one imagination by surprise.
In Japanese, chigiru means to tear or shred and “e” (eh) means picture. The technique begins with tearing washi into small pieces to create depth, texture and dimension for the image, a method similar to collage. The pieces are then pasted onto an art board – like painting with paper.
Purple Mountains Majesty by Barbara Harmer