Kumi Yamashita

Kumi Yamashita, Untitled (Walking Woman) (installation view), 1997
Kumi Yamashita, Untitled (Walking Woman) (installation view), 1997

Kumi Yamashita (b. 1968, Takasaki, Japan) traces figures with the most obscure materials. Her subjects include shadows on the wall or dirty prints from a pair of old boots. Her graphic skills are amazingly well honed and the delightful images she produces are even more pleasing because we doubt our eyes when we see how they are produced. In one installation lifelike forms of the human body in motion were produced by the most unlikely source. On the wall, illuminated by a single strong lamp, we could see an arrangement of ordinary children's building blocks.

Some were shaped like block letters or toy animals, but they were random forms in different sizes and shapes. Yamashita arranged these so that each threw a particular shadow which, when taken with all the other precisely placed objects, astonishingly added up to the illusion of reality.

Kumi Yamashita at Liverpool Biennial 1999

Untitled (Walking Woman), 1997
Wood, light cast-shadow, 122 - 414 x 5 cm
Collection of Boise Art Museum, Idaho

Lovers, 1998
Aluminium sheet, light cast-shadow, 200 x 550 x 15cm
Courtesy of artist

Untitled (Profile), 1994
Wood, light, cast-shadow, 122 x 244 x 5 cm
Courtesy of artist