Born in 1952 in Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil. Lives and works in Vitoria, Brazil.
Hilal Sami Hilal becameinterested in handmade paper in the 1970s, and went to Japan twice (in 1981 and1988) to study paper-making techniques. He went on to establish a department ofpaper arts and paper-making at his alma mater, the Universidad Federal doEspirito Santo in Vitoria, Brazil. Ten years ago, Hilal left his teachingposition to concentrate on his art full time. Hilal’s works in paper are handmade, using the cotton in oldclothes that are given to him by friends and family—material that carriesremnants, both physical and emotional, of a functional past. After hedeconstructs, manipulates, and resurrects the recycled cotton fiber as paper,Hilal employs the new material to create delicate structures that evoke what hecalls the “fragility and sensuality” of lace. Pigments and metal powders addcolor to parts of the work giving the paper a rusted, corroded appearance, andthus 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 thedelicate lines and shapes that define them. He uses sharply contrastingmaterials and techniques in his explorations of positive and negative space.