The Art of Shadow: Kumi Yamashita’s Building Blocks

In an impressive display of artistic innovation and woodworking skill, artist Kumi Yamashita presents a shadow art installation at the Otsuma Women’s University in Tokyo, Japan.

This piece is a testament to the transformative power of light and material and the intricate balance between form and shadow.

Concept and Execution

The artwork comprises an array of wooden blocks meticulously arranged to cast a human profile’s shadow on the wall.

The placement of each block is calculated precisely, showcasing the artist’s detailed understanding of light dynamics and its interaction with three-dimensional objects.

Woodworking Meets Light Art

Yamashita’s creation blurs the lines between traditional woodworking and contemporary art.

Wood’s choice of medium adds a textural contrast against the smooth wall surface, emphasizing the medium’s versatility and the artist’s craftsmanship.

Technical Considerations

This installation required not only a creative vision but also a practical application of woodworking techniques.

The blocks’ various shapes and sizes needed to be cut and sanded to perfection to achieve the desired effect when illuminated. The result is a blend of aesthetic design and engineering, showcasing the wood’s natural beauty and human ingenuity’s precision.


Kumi Yamashita’s building blocks shadow art is an extraordinary example of how traditional woodworking can expand into new realms of artistic expression.

It demonstrates the endless possibilities of combining craftsmanship with innovative design principles. The installation inspires woodworkers and artists alike, encouraging a fusion of disciplines to create truly unique works of art.

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