Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Inspiration - Kumi Yamashita

I am constantly blown away by what artists do with fibers .... and stunned by New York artist Kumi Yamashita's work!  Remember (some of us!) thread and nail pictures from the 60's or 70's?  They usually ended up making geometric forms, owls, or such.  I always thought they were really cool and wanted to make one, but never got around to it.  Then one of my sons sent me a link to the artwork below.  Keep those old string pictures in mind while you look at this:

Close in principle, light years in execution!  Yamashita uses nails and a single strand of sewing thread to almost magically create light, shadows, and a full range of values.  This is Mana from the Constellation Series.  There are more here on her website.  I seriously can't stop looking at them!

But that's not all!  She also creates works by removing certain parts of the weave from denim.  The piece to the left started out as solid black denim.  See more here at her website.

And Yamashita's known for her amazing shadow work, where light is shone on wood, paper, letters, and such from a specific angle to make a certain shadow appear.  I'm very excited!  The piece below, untitled, child, is part of Math Alive! - a interactive traveling exhibition showing the amazing possibilities of math.  It'll make a stop at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix from July 8 - September 3, 2012 and then move on to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama September 22, 2012 - February 3, 2013 and the Houston, Texas Space Center February 23 - May 5, 2013.  I'll definitely get to see it when it gets to Phoenix in a couple of weeks!  You can see more of her shadow pieces on her website and on Bored Panda here.

Finally, this is a fun demonstration and sort of interview with Kumi on the Japanese television show, Takeshi Kitano's "Unbelievable."  It's in Japanese with English subtitles.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

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