Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” recreated in masking tape. The piece was part of a recent Vermeer Tribute Exhibition in Japan.

The Japanese artist Nasa Funahara’s obsession with masking tape began with the simple hobby of collecting. As you might know, Japanese washi masking tape comes in all sort of colors, patterns and designs. And at 200 -300 yen a pop, they’re pretty easy impulse purchases, especially if you have a thing for stationery. It was in college when she decided to use her masking tape as part of a class assignment and the response was huge. So she began replicating famous paintings using only masking tape.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s depiction of a face comprised of human bodies, recreated in masking tape

When we wrote about the artist 4 years ago, she had a collection of roughly 450 rolls of masking tape so it’s only safe to assume that, that collection has since grown. What’s also grown is Nasa Funahara’s body of work. She continues to expand, adding works that have been privately commissioned by numerous organizations and recreating works well-known artists like Johannes Vermeer and Jakucho Ito.

Funahara currently has an online shop where she sells some of her works.

Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun’s “Marie Antoinette” which was privately commissioned in masking tape

Those familiar with Japanese names are probably curious about Funahara’s first name Nasa which, by almost any standard, is not a typical Japanese name. “Both my parents worked in the aeronautics and space industry,” explains Nasa. “On the day before I was born Mamoru Mohri went into space on the Space Shuttle Endeavour. To commemorate the occasion my parents named me Nasa.”

a recreation of Jakuchu Ito’s tiger
a recreation of Jakuchu Ito’s golden pheasant