KUMI YAMASHITA: Mind-Blowing Shadow Art


Born in Japan but now living and working in New York City, artist Kumi Yamashita does incredible things with light and shadows. Kumi has an impressive list of solo and group shows sine the late 90s along with a host of permanent collections around the world. Kumi received her bachelor in fine arts at the Cornish College of the Arts in Washington and obtained her masters in fine art from the Glasgow School of Art in the UK. In her series entitled Light & Shadow, Kumi uses a single light source along with an assortment of perfectly placed objects to create incredible shadow silhouettes and artwork on walls. Please enjoy this small sample below, and be sure to visit Kumi’s official site for even more amazing artwork.


Kumi Yamashita’s art functions as the visible reminder of invisible art. From simple beginnings, she invites us to reassess the unpredictable relationship between what we expect to see and our actual perception. Much of Kumi Yamashita’s artwork is constructed with everyday things such as alphabets, building blocks, thread, nails, credit card rubbings and light installations.


As a result of the process these ordinary material objects are transformed into arresting yet elusive images. Separate pieces may connect together in a shadow, and a simple piece of paper can create an endless variety of profiles. Kumi’s methods and materials go beyond the confines of traditional media, transforming one medium into something else. For example, footprints on a sheet compose a face; blocks of various heights cast a realistic human shadow; a single piece of thread creates a subtly modulated portrait. With great attention to detail, Yamashita’s works are exhaustively complex and precise— yet they remain deeply human.


Kumi Yamashita received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Glasglow School of Art. Her solo shows include: the Seattle Art Museum, Boise Art Museum, Yerba Buena Centre, San Francisco, the Esplanade in Singapore, Hillside Gallery in Tokyo and the Kent Gallery in New York. Her work is in the collection of the New Mexico History Museum, Seattle City Light, Microsoft Collection, Boise Art Museum, the Hamada Art Museum and others. For more information or to get in touch with the artist, we invite you to visit the link below.