Collaboration Six: Seiko Kato

Whilst Daphnée was scrolling through Instagram for collage art inspiration, she came across Seiko Kato. The most beautiful and intricate hand-cut collage designs popped up on her feed and she messaged Hannah to tell her that they had to ask Seiko to collab with Pieces Of The Puzzle. And so, fast forward five months and here we are! 
Seiko is an avid collector of found objects and ephemera. She finds particular inspiration in Victorian medical books, old Victorian etched drawings, encyclopaedia of things and Victorian paraphernalia.
Seiko Kato
She cuts out all of her collage materials using a tiny pair of scissors. Her work shows a fascination with the macabre and surreal, mixed with playful elements that explore life and death. Born and raised in Japan, she is now living in England since 1999. She studied Photography at college and graduated from University of Brighton with BA in Illustration.
We delved a little deeper to find out more about Seiko.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and a fun fact
I’m a Japanese person who has lived in Brighton, England for the last 22 years but I have decided to go back to Japan…hoping to do so by the end of this year!  People have been known me as a collage artist as I’ve been working on an intricate paper cut collage for over 14 years.  
However, I’ve also decided to quit making collage and will do something completely different! 
First of all, I’ll travel around all over Japan and see my own country in a very fresh perspective and see what this might lead me to… 
I am super excited about this!! 
What made you get into hand-cut collaging?
I used to draw when I was in my 1st and 2nd years of university whilst studying Illustration. 
As I couldn't draw from my head, I always had to look at some references and make up the characters by drawing different parts of bodies from different sources which took me ages to draw… 
The Ascension Collage art
One day, I had just cut two random things and put them together which made a character in few seconds. It was so surreal and humorous...something that I wouldn't think to put together in my head. I loved the sensation that I’ve never experienced before when something random perfectly fit together. 
At first, I was making very simple collages such as silly and funny characters…then I got into making really intricate and complex pieces…
Where do you get your inspiration from when creating new artwork?
Definitely, nature is a huge inspiration for my work. Also, I’m really keen to relearn about my own country and Japanese traditions and culture and live closer to nature and enjoy the seasons. 
I'm very excited to see how my art evolves from there...
What has been your favourite project to work on?
This is a really difficult question as there are so many to choose from...
but the most memorable one has to be creating my first book 'Handmade Collage'!
It took us more than a year to finish and I've learned so much from this project.
What do you do to relax and have a mindful moment?
I especially love going somewhere in nature to walk or have a picnic or lay down on the glass…it’s my happiest place. 
When I'm in nature, I love being barefoot on the glass to do some earthing.
I also love having a long bath...I have lots of realisation about life when I'm having a bath. 
Favourite restaurant?
I have so many…and it's impossible to decide! So, I’m only going to focus on where I live at the moment…
My favourite restaurant in Brighton is Oshio.  
A Japanese and Korean restaurant on Trafalgar street. It’s the closest authentic Japanese food you can get in Brighton. 
The freshness of the fish is amazing! 
Small brand shout-out! Please name your fave three indie brands
They are all my lovely friends from different fields...
1934 (furniture/interior) 
I absolutely love Abel and Ruby's view of interior design.
They made me think about how important to be surrounded by the things carefully selected and everything you love.
Extrait D'Atelier (perfume) 
Chiara makes wonderfully unique scents of perfume that I really love!
I also adore the sophisticated visuals, great concept and stories of each perfume. 
Rachel Lattimore (personalised blankets)
Rachel creates fantastic bespoke woven blankets.
Each blanket is one of a kind and she draws and designs them so beautifully.
If you have a pet, you'd love to own her bespoke blanket with your fur babies on it!!
Lastly, what positive things are you looking forward to the rest of this year?
I’m very much looking forward to letting go of most of my belongings and going back to Japan by the end of this year! 
I also would like to be spending my birthday in Okinawa in December..!

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