Which is the first paper cutout I made?

The other day photographer Josh Gates asked me, “Which paper cutout is the first one you’ve ever made?

Beholder

Bovey Lee, "Beholder," Rice paper cutout, 2005

That is a great question.

It is “Beholder.”

“Beholder” is inspired by a Chinese opera mask paper cutting in my collection. Very elaborate, detail, and masculine, the main figure has one of the eyes turned into a child’s face.

Opera Mask

Opera mask cutout that inspired "Beholder"

I thought that was so interesting to make a piece about role reversal. The outcome is “Beholder” in which one of my eyes was replaced by my mother’s face.

And I wanted to surround us with flowers.

“Beholder” has a very special place in my heart and it is significant because it sets the tone for all other paper cutouts I have created since.

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