ribbonesia is the work of artist baku maeda. he started off by experimenting with shapes and materials. in 2010, he launched ribbonesia officially and started producing wonderful, colourful pieces. i wrote a short shout out in early 2011. recently, i have decided to ask the creative force behind ribbonesia to answer a few questions. he kindly accepted.

please tell me about the ribbonesia concept.

as an artist/illustrator, i had been working on 2 dimensional drawings and paintings.
through an everyday process, i became more and more interested in 3 dimensional work. and i found possibilities to create more sculptural art work in multi colour ribbon.
ribbon is a very familiar and often disparaged item. i discovered its great qualities while playing with it. i bent it, twisted it and rolled it.
information and technology can be spread and shared in seconds. my role as an artist is to explore something unique and original in order to find my own perspective on the world.

what about the team behind ribbonesia?

all the artwork is created by baku maeda (myself) and a few assistants. ryo ueda, our art director, is responsible for all the graphic works. toru yoshikawa, the creative director, is focused on the creative goals and on the quality of the output.


could you tell me about the process?

i use paper, felt, wood, metal and so on. anything tape-like can be my material. i am experimenting with new materials on a daily basis.
ribbon has more flexibility and potential. however, it is too soft in its final object shape. so i prepare it by using a special treatment to achieve the ideal body and tension.


is this a kind of origami or is it origami-inspired?

i think it is in a certain sense. i am trying to make it as simple as it can be and it is very related to mathematics and physics. also, geometry, gravity and so on.


 i found pictures of oversized pieces and i loved them. were they commissioned? and are they more difficult to make?

again, different materials have different tensions and characteristics. it is difficult to understand it. also, in that case, i need more space and another person to help me make the piece.


is your home island of hokkaido an inspiration? 

i was born and raised in hokkaido, the northern island of japan. i am living and working in hokkaido. all my years were spent in a tremendous nature environment and i appreciate it very much.

what part of the business is better appreciated: the sales or the commissions?

our products are fully handmade so we cannot and don’t make a whole lot of sales. it is more likely to explore the possibilities of craft art and to share it with fans. commissioned work is more effective to achieve response.

i noticed that you organize workshops. are they a regular occurrence?

workshops are mostly commissioned-event driven. however, we are planning to do self-organized workshops more regularly.

what are your plans for the future?

our plan is to create a party hat made of ribbon for the queen.

also, we are renewing our website and it will be launched very soon. we will finally have an online shopping page so anyone can buy our pieces. for updates, please check our facebook pages (english and japanese).

thank you very much for your time!

don’t you just love ribbonesia? i do!

if you want to purchase any ribbonesia piece, check out their online shop .

photo credits: ribbonesia