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Contact Tinsu Kasai


At first glimpse at the paper sculpture of East African artist Tinsu Kasai, I was immediately struck by two powerful sentiments: First, I was impressed by the great depth of character which merged from her masks, and, second, gazing at her artwork inspired an in-depth cultural narrative which was, for me, both organic and ethereal.I was compelled to know more about this artist.Peering into the persona behind the artist, one can come to comprehend just how her artistry might stimulate such a complex response.  Tinsu was born in Addis Ababa and, as the surname Kasai attests, her roots ascend from regal Abyssinian lineage.  Through a lifetime of transitions, she has traversed African, European and North American continents, finally settling among the dense cultural tapestry of Southern California. Having inherited the artist cue from her Tigrean mother, born in the ancient city of Gondar, little Tinsu was inspired by the experience of watching the women of her village weaving colorful fabrics and basketry.  Self-taught in the art of sculpture, her career was transformed when she was instructed in the distinct art of sculpting with paper.  What Tinsu brought to this rare art form was truly distinct and undoubtedly inspired by her ancestral inheritance.Upon viewing the sculptured paper art of Tinsu Kasai, one will likely be drawn into a world of the exotic, a wide range of visuals ranging from facial masks from African village life to Native American culture, palm trees swaying to ocean breezes and a mélange of other organic expressions. Having one of Tinsu's sculptures in your surroundings will inspire an appreciation for culture, spirituality and a heightened awareness of the power of art to serve as bridge between divergent cultures. ---- Keidi Awadu, Black Star Media