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Shadow art and shadow artist Kumi Yamashita

Shadow art is a unique form of sculptural art where the 2D shadows cast by a 3D sculpture are essential for the artistic effect.


There are two kinds of shadows that occur when a light is shone upon an object: a cast shadow and a form shadow.


Cast shadow: When an object blocks a light source it creates a shadow which varies in tone and value. The farther a cast shadow is from the object the lighter and softer and less defined becomes its edges.


Form shadow: A form shadow is the less defined dark side on an object not facing the light source. Form shadows are subtle shadows, but they are essential for creating the illusion of volume, mass and depth.

Shadow art involves using a mix of shadows and light; drawing lines out of the insubstantial and creating forms out of something that isn’t there.


One such artist who uses this medium is Kumi Yamashita (Born i1968 Takasaki, Japan). Raised in an artistic family ( her mother studied fashion and her father was a sculptor and a professor of industrial design) Yamashita developed her love for art at an early age. Living in Japan until her teenage years, she then relocated to America where she received her Bachelor in Fine Arts at the Cornish College of the Arts in Washington and graduated with an MFA from Glasglow School of Art in the UK in 1999.

Kumi Yamashita’s light and shadow installations are usually made from ordinary, everyday objects – building blocks, thread, nails, paper cut-outs, fabric and wood, Her works are composed from a strategically-placed single light source along with single or multiple objects placed at specific distances to create her shadow silhouettes. The complete artwork is therefore comprised of both the material (the solid objects) and the immaterial (the light or shadow).

Why not visit her website to learn more about this artist






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