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Hilal Sami Hilal

Hilal Sami Hilal

Brazil - 1952

Brazilian, b. 1952

Hilal Sami Hilal became interested in handmade paper in the 1970s, and went to Japan twice (in 1981 and 1988) to study paper-making techniques. He went on to establish a department of paper arts and paper-making at his alma mater, the Universidad Federal do Espirito Santo in Vitoria, Brazil. Ten years ago, Hilal left his teaching position to concentrate on his art full time.

Hilal’s works on paper are handmade, using the cotton in old clothes that are given to him by friends and family - material that carries remnants, both physical and emotional, of a functional past. After he deconstructs, manipulates, and resurrects the recycled cotton fiber as paper, Hilal employs the new material to create delicate structures that evoke what he calls the “fragility and sensuality” of lace. Pigments and metal powders add color to parts of the work giving the paper a rusted, corroded appearance, and thus reinforcing the idea of transformation over time. Hilal also uses thin copper plates,corroding them with acid to create complex webbed patterns. In all his works,whether in paper or in metal, the “holes” are as important to the piece as the delicate lines and shapes that define them. He uses sharply contrasting materials and techniques in his explorations of positive and negative space.


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