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By on June 8, 2008, with 28 Comments

Kumi Yamashitas Shadows InstallationHey people, we almost hit 17 million unique visitors! Check the counter in the bottom, but let’s concentrate now on today’s illusion! Kumy Yamashita is an artist whose works we covered here on Mighty Illusions in the past. Her five other works focus on shadow pictures as well. They were created by bright light cast at an oblique angle across various relief materials attached to the wall. In both cases, an illusive image derives from an unexpected means that has no obvious visual relationship to the result. These images are done with wood, light and cast shadow and in my view they are really stunning. Kumi Yamashita not only creates simple and smart visual effects with light and shadow, she was also recently featured on YouTube and got a lot of buzz on the web.

Her subjects include shadows on the wall or dirty prints from a pair of old boots. In one installation lifelike forms of the human body in motion are produced by the most unlikely source. On the wall, illuminated by a single strong lamp, we can see an arrangement of ordinary children’s building blocks. Some are shaped like block letters or toy animals, but they are (seemingly) random forms in different sizes and shapes. Yamashita has arranged these so that each throws a particular shadow which, when taken with all the other precisely placed objects, astonishingly adds up to the illusion of reality.

After the jump, in her piece called “Landscape” she has used the most mundane medium, a dish, to portray a shadow of a talking person. The dish rotates as a steel bar stays in place, and with the shadow it casts into the “landscape” and the shadow appears to speak. I still don’t know if sound forms part of the experience, but somehow I believe it is not, it would deter from the surreal feeling and awe from the ability to create such illusive alternative. For all means, check the video!

Kumi Yamashitas Shadows Installation
Kumi Yamashitas Shadows Installation
Kumi Yamashitas Shadows Installation
Kumi Yamashitas Shadows Installation


28 Responses
  1. Anonymous says:

    wow!! those are amazing!

  2. love_spell99 says:

    Yes im second! awesome illusions!

  3. DarknStein says:

    Great Illusion… lml

  4. DJStealth says:

    I was watching the whole video wondering what was the ‘object’ causing those talking faces illusion. I’m not 100%, but I think they’re a bunch of cards shaped like faces with the mouthes in various positions, circling quickly around a light source.

  5. Anonymous says:

    wow:) they are so cool!!!!

  6. Cheese says:


  7. Anonymous says:

    yay im 5th. those were awsome!

  8. Screaming Doubles says:

    remarkably astounding… jimminy cricket… talk about patience…

    Why can’t I make those!

  9. not anonymous says:

    cool illusion, i like the one with the “!” that has a shadow that looks like “?”!
    I watched the video. What are the mouths saying?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Okay, 9-minutes…..over kill. I was amazed but became bored after a minute and a half.

  11. art says:

    First, we already had the girl thing, and 2nd, for the “!?” one, the shadow was probably pained on. The non obvios ones make you think and are good.

    P.s., for those of you in the brooklyn area, my school is having a talent show on june 11th. its preity good (its a long story how i saw ALL of it) (sry, im not in it) and tickets are 7$. the address is:

    Mark Twain Intermediate School #239
    for the Gifted & Talented
    2401 Neptune Avenue — Brooklyn, NY 11224
    Ph. 718-266-0814 — Fax. 718-266-1693

  12. Jazagod says:

    WOW, that is so Fox Mulder!!! haha

  13. Dan says:

    Very nice!

    As an answer for “art” (comment #11), the “!?” one is obviously a “?” seen from the side so you see a “!”. Note the lighter part on the “!” which is the concave part of the “?”.

  14. Kevin says:

    I went to see her most recent show in NYC. She made a portrait out of pins and a single, continuous thread! Here’s an image

    She also had other portraits made from removing select treads from woven fabrics. REALLY detailed and extremely time consuming.

    I posted a recent appearance on a Japanese TV show profiling her work-Video

  15. Neat-Nit says:

    Video way too long.

  16. Aish says:

    to #9 not anonymous
    incidentally…the mouths are saying “my name is jenny”

    watch this Japanese video about Kumi Yamashita called “unbelievable” it is MUCH more interesting than the original video shown (when the original video is embedded and theres related videos below it).

  17. Anonymous says:

    this is very cool

  18. Anonymous says:

    Nice illusion but I don’t like it cuz it fuckin irritates me

  19. Jasmine says:

    lol, were studying that in art

  20. andy says:

    i love this work i seen the work on a friends site truly wonderful

    peace and light from the wee tin can

  21. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Phenomenal. Probably my favorite. :)

  22. lonelycharme says:

    Awesome , he’s a genius! My favorite is the one with the lady’s shadow.

  23. venkatesh says:

    owsome guys..
    cool make a full boy like this..
    its looks cool…..

  24. Courtney says:

    These are absolutely amazing!!

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