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Art

Ethereal Paper Sculptures and Large-Scale Installations by Ayumi Shibata Play With Light and Shadow

February 18, 2022

Anna Marks

A photograph of Ayumi Shibata's white paper sculptures showcasing a miniature urban landscape with large trees

All images © Ayumi Shibata, shared with permission

Japan-based artist Ayumi Shibata (previously) designs intricate landscapes using layers upon layers of white paper. Some of her sculptures are miniature, whereas others are immersive installations, and all are brought to life with the play of light and shadow, which create “movement” throughout her pieces. The works feature architectural domes, cave-like forests, and swirling suns hovering over tree-filled cities. These picturesque places aren’t based on a particular location but what the artist “hopes and believes the future of the planet could look like”.

Shibata’s ethereal landscapes envision a world in which humans and natural forms coexist, and she describes her pieces as having a “Yin and Yang” element. Paper represents Yin, the material, and the ways the works emit shadows correlates to Yang, the invisible world. “The light represents spirit and life, how the sun rises and breathes life into the world,” she explains. “I believe my pieces are a place to observe the material world and the visible one.”

The physical elements have a deeper meaning for the artist, as well: In Japanese, Kami means god or spirit but also paper, a sacred material in the Shinto religion. “Invisible ‘Kami’ spirits dwell in various objects and events, places, as well as in our houses and in our bodies,” she says. “I use my technique to express my thankfulness to the Kami spirits for having been born in this life. Each piece of paper I cut is a prayer.”

 

A photograph of Ayumi Shibata's white paper sculptures

Shibata began constructing these sculptures when living in New York. She would visit a church to meditate and escape the noise of the city, and it was when she observed light illuminating stained glass that she was reminded of her love of working with paper. The artist explains:

The city was full of noise. Everything, people, time goes so fast and moves rapidly, and I needed a quiet space to go back to myself. One day, I opened my eyes after meditation and saw colorful light flooding the floor through the stained glass. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It reminded me of a memory from childhood where I used to cut black paper and stick colored cellophane behind it to make a ‘paper’ stained glass piece. I got the tools on my way home and tried it that night. From that moment, I continued to cut paper.

Currently, Shibata is working on an installation called “Inochino-uta, Poetry of Life,” for an exhibition later this year. The large-scale project is made out of 108 pieces of paper connected by strings and suspended from the ceiling. To view more of the artist’s work, visit her Instagram or website.

 

A photograph of Ayumi Shibata's white paper sculptures

A photograph of Ayumi Shibata's white paper sculptures showcasing a little boat sailing upon waves

A close up photograph of Ayumi Shibata's white paper sculptures showing dome-like architectural forms and tunnels

A photograph of Ayumi Shibata's white paper sculptures showcasing a swirling sun hovering over a city with lots of trees

A photograph of Ayumi Shibata's white paper sculptures

A photograph of Ayumi Shibata's white paper sculptures

 

 



Design Food

Have Your Bread and Read By It Too: PAMPSHADE Turns Leftover Loaves into Offbeat Lamps

January 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © PAMPSHADE

Yukiko Morita works against the grain with her collection of bread-based home goods. The baker-turned-designer launched PAMPSHADE back in 2016 after nearly a decade of experimenting with the doughy material, and today, the brand creates a variety of quirky, functional objects, including croissant nightlights, baguette chandeliers, and naan timepieces that appear to be the leavened counterpart to Salvador Dalí’s melting clocks.

Each design utilizes leftover pastries and loaves sourced from nearby retailers that are then treated with antiseptic and a mildew-deterrent and hollowed out to fit an LED light. “By purchasing the unsold bread, the bakeries are happy, and it leads to a sustainable creative activity,” she tells Creative Boom. “Within the scope of normal use, (the lamps) can be used semi-permanently. However, be careful not to break them!”

Head to the PAMPSHADE site to pick up a crusty ciabatta or slice of toast, and follow the latest upcycled designs on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

Brezhnevka Night Lights and Planters Recreate Soviet-Era Housing as Functional Goods

January 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Nikita Anokhin

St. Petersburg-based designer Nikita Anokhin references the industrial, streamlined architecture that populated much of Soviet-era Russia in his functional home goods. Based on the iconic Brezhnevka complexes, Anokhin’s plywood and concrete lamps are comprised of multiple stories of conformist features, including angular balconies and rows of tall windows. Each contains tiny, multi-colored LED lights that illuminate the individual apartments and reveal miniature domestic scenes unfolding within. Similarly bulky and constructivist, the small, concrete planters are based on Khrushchevka and the round buildings on Nezhinskaya Street in Moscow.

Shop available pieces on Anokhin’s Etsy and follow new releases on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Food

Dramatic Light Illuminates Crosscut Melons, Citrus, and Other Juicy Produce Rendered by Dennis Wojtkiewicz

January 3, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Citrus Series #33.” All images © Dennis Wojtkiewicz, shared with permission

Artist Dennis Wojtkiewicz (previously) finds creative nourishment in succulent slices of melons, lemons, and apples that appear to glow under studio lighting. Rendered in pastels with slightly blurred lines, his works focus on the seeds, fibrous veins cradling pockets of juice, and thick rinds visible only through clean crosscuts of the edible subject matter. Prints and originals of the luminous fruits are available on his site and from Moberg and M.A. Doran galleries. You can follow his latest pieces on Instagram.

 

“Rosette Series #35”

“Kiwi Series #8”

“Peach Series #10”

“Lemon Series #18”

“Melon Series #47”

“Horn Melon Series #6”

“Citrus Series #32”

“Apple Series #3”

“Melon Series #49”

“Melon Series #18”

 

 



Art

An Illuminated Starburst Explodes and Punctures a Former Warehouse in Malaysia

December 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Jun Ong, shared with permission

A follow-up to the massive, six-pointed star that pierced a concrete building back in 2015, a new site-specific work by Malaysian artist Jun Ong bores through an extension of a former warehouse in Kuala Lumpur. “STAR/KL” is an illuminated installation comprised of 111 LED beams in various sizes that burst outward in the open-air structure, impaling the chainlink fence, support columns, and facade of the Air Building at The Godown art center. Described as an “extraterrestrial light being,” the glowing public work performs a hypnotic dance of flashes and flickers each night with an accompanying sound component by Reza Othman, who’s part of the experimental electronic and jazz project RAO.

“STAR/KL” is up through March 26, 2022, although its light will fade gradually during the next few months until it extinguishes entirely. You can see more of the otherworldly piece and dive into Ong’s process on Instagram. You also might enjoy this radiant intervention by Ian Strange. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art

Illuminated Dinosaurs Stalk Paris's Jardin des Plantes in a Spectacular Journey Through Time

December 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © China Light Festival B.V.& Sichuan Tianyu Culture Communication Co., Ltd, shared with permission

Trilobites, luminous flying raptors, and a T-Rex towering 27 meters above the ground are just a few of the otherworldly creatures currently haunting the grounds of the Jardin des Plantes. The massive organisms are the subjects of a fantastic exhibition now on view at the Paris venue that takes viewers on a spectacular journey of development and biodiversity through the ages.

Populated by hand-painted silk sculptures crafted by the Sichuan-based company China Lights, Evolution on a Path to Enlightenment opens about 3,700 million years ago with the Precambrian era’s marine creatures. The walkable, outdoor show then ventures into the early terrestrial environment of the Paleozoic period, greets the dinosaurs of the Jurassic and Cretaceous ages—this segment includes fanciful renditions of well-recognized creatures like the stegosaurs and velociraptor, all of which are based on research from paleontologists from the National Museum of National History—before closing with the birds and mammals that remain today.

Visit the botanical garden before January 30, 2022, to explore life 600 million years ago or take a virtual tour in the video below.

 

 

 

A Colossal

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