Light & Shadow – Shadow Art by Kumi Yamashita


Creativity and its child artwork are funny things. You see, many would say that the quality of artwork can’t be determined objectively; it comes down to personal preference, and a slew of other things. That may be true for some things, but I can confidently say that this Light & Shadow exhibit by Japanese artist Kumi Yamashita is objectively awesome.

Using only a single light source and a range of different trinkets, such as wooden letters, numbers, and pieces of paper, Kumi is able to create incredibly life-life portraits and silhouettes. Whether she has a specific method for achieving the effect, or whether it’s simply a case of trial and error, I couldn’t say… but what I do know is that something like this would make for an incredible installation in one’s home. Kumi, are you for hire?

Casting Shadows

kumi shadow art

This reminds me of a scene out of The Matrix, but then again… a great many things remind me of that movie.

shadowy face

You know what would be interesting? Having the lighting slightly change throughout the day… just enough to cause minor distortions to the silhouette. I think it could be a pretty unique experience, especially if it changes rapidly enough for a single person to notice while they’re browsing the gallery.

post-it note shadow art

This is certainly an interesting use for post-it notes. Perhaps I can start plastering these around my apartment and see who notices?

shadow people

One might argue that this is the most simplistic piece of the bunch, but it’s my favorite. It reminds me of two people hiding under a newspaper to avoid getting rained on. As someone born in Vancouver, I can empathize.

shadows cast by letters

Again, I’ve got a fridge full of magnets… I think it’s time for me to start experimenting a little bit. I can finally replace my juvenile collection of “xxx” with something artistic!

shadow art woman

Floating from the heavens? I did this once as well when I was reviewing an umbrella.

wooden blocks

If you’re interested in learning more about Kumi Yamashita and her incredible artwork, please head over to her official website. I’ve only included a very small sample of the work that she’s done over the years, and simply making due with these would be doing yourself a disservice. Browse around, enjoy, and if you still haven’t gotten your fill of shadow art, have a look at Rashad Alakbarov’s work as well. He also does shadow art, though with a very different tone too it.

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