Hojos de Platano aka Papel Picado

2018

Common themes include birds, floral designs, and skeletons. They are commonly displayed for both secular and religious occasions, such as Easter, Christmas, the Day of the Dead, as well as during weddings, quinceañeras, baptisms, and christenings. In Mexico, papel picado is especially incorporated into altars during the Day of the Dead.

During the opening day ceremony of the project ‘El Camino Abierto’ we started with a walk passed the triangle pool, where instead of hanging my papel picado in the air, I had made an aquatic temporary installation “Hojos de Platano aka Papel Picado” so the children could observe the various cuts of the banana leaves and the shadows the sun created on the pool floor.

Temporary aquatic installation in the triangle pool, designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando at Casa Wabi, Oaxaca, Mexico

This installation is made out banana leaves cut and folded into a natural variation of Papel Picado,  ("perforated paper", literally "pecked paper"), which is a decorative craft made out of papercut into beautiful and elaborate designs. It is considered a Mexican folk art. The designs are commonly cut from paper using a guide or template and small chisels, creating as many as forty banners at a time. Papel Picado can also be made by folding tissue paper and using small, sharp scissors.