It’s not often that we look at paper sculptures and instantly get hungry. But Singaporean paper sculptor Cheryl Teo, aka CaptainLulo, changed that instantly when we saw her amazingly realistic paper figurines of all our favourite dishes, from waffles to ramen! We sat down with her to find out all the details of her creative journey.
“I started experimenting with paper during my university days. I was an art student and decided to use paper to create a series of shophouses for one of the many projects, and that’s how it all began! There were a handful of paper artists that worked with a single piece of white paper at the time, such as Peter Callesen, Simon Schubert and Richard Sweeney. To me, they were masters at producing very beautiful and ethereal works of art. I wanted to come up with something that was closer to my personality so I started playing with colour and injecting more fun into my paper works.”
Creating food with paper
“I wanted something that was simple and relatable to everyone. Food is a very broad subject so it was a perfect choice. I enjoy trying to translate the structure and form of food through paper. It forces you to observe little details and understand the nature of both the food and the paper, and how they can work together.”
The creative process
“Creating one piece can take anywhere from 10 to 15 hours, through to a span of days. Whenever I have an idea in my mind, I sketch it out in my notebook and everything starts to flow from there. The planning stage is mainly lots of research on similar visuals, deciding on the scale, brainstorming on colour palettes and construction experiments with plain paper. Sometimes if I’m not satisfied with a piece, I just let it sit on the desk for weeks until I’m ready to go back to it again.”
“I recently made some vintage-inspired electronic pieces for my current exhibition and it was my most challenging to date as I wanted some parts of each piece to be moveable. For example, I wanted the blades of the fan to spin and the headpiece to move up and down like a real fan.”
“My go-to comfort food is anything with cheese or potatoes! It’s nothing fancy honestly, but it makes me happy! I usually prefer savoury food over sweet things. Yes, I have brought some of them to life already, such as a plate of waffles and tacos!”
“I would love to team up with other designers and artists to create a book, a short film or an interactive installation. I would love to continue sharing the art of paper with the community through workshops and tutorials. I’m always open to new ways of working with paper and would not hesitate to try something different.”
Wishing you could take a bite of these paper creations? How about treating yourself to the real thing.