When paper becomes Art
departure for Japan in 1997 constitued a turning point in J. M. Letelliers
There at Mr Minoru Fujimoris Hall of Japanese Hand Made Paper,
he was initiated to Japanese paper production techniques.
Japanese government gives the title of Living National Treasury
to people with precious cultural knowledge, like Mr Fujimori, who taught
J. M. Letellier the nagashizuki method.
M. Letellier then spent two years in Nepal, as a paper designer for
There he put into practice his Japanese experience within this local
company, where he managed the production unit. A unique opportunity
for him to experiment with new fibers...
the laureate of an A. F. A. A. grant in 1999, J. M. Letellier became
artist in residence at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto (Japan). In this
artistic environment, he turned his research towards producing paper
sheets with watermarks, a process that he revisited in his own personal
the museum-workshop of Yamakawa-cho, he invented free watermark. Concretely,
he used all sorts of ustensils - hoses, sprays, watering cans, shower
heads, etc... from jets to drops - to project water onto the paper during
the production process.
technique consisted in putting metal shapes on top of the sieves which
he filled with pulp to obtain either opaque or transparent shapes.
landmark of this period was the creation of a series of large panels
around the themes of totems and the moon.
was then invited as an artist in residence to the small village of Imadate
- craddle of Japanese paper where this tradition has been maintained
for 1500 years -. He could not have dreamt of a better environment to
continue his work.
one of the 40 workshops of the village, he developped an inclusion technique.
This time, he embedded various materials - laces, bamboo sticks, scotch
tape cuttings, wires... - into the sheets. The result is halfway between
watermark and embossing, a combination of the artists play on
alternated opacity and transparency.
J. M. Letellier now lives in Paris, but he keeps his bond with Asia
European exhibits are widely praised in the world of designers, who
see his works as offering them a whole new potential field of creation