Masamichi Shimada

The Japanese light artist Masamichi Shimada finds his inspiration all around. In his work you can spot a distinct reference to nature, but the lights of 'the city' also inspire him.

Masamichi Shimada creates light installations with interwoven materials such as wood, metal, paper, and plastics. He creates large works for the public space, such as a meadow full of light cows and a giant slide. He also creates small light products such as a moon-shaped night lamp. We asked Shimada on his work method: "I research the place or area where the installation will be placed, find a unique story of the place, and set the concept of the work before I'm starting to produce it."

The biggest inspiration for his work, he draws from the different shapes light takes in nature. Like dewdrops on flowers, the surface of the sea at sunrise, or sun rays on ears of rice swinging in the wind. Landscape art and urban culture form other inspirations.

Photo: Shimada gets his inspiration from every day life, as you can tell by his instagram account.

Shimada: "I used to skateboard as a teen, and street culture naturally inspired me. I like artwork that make me look at the world from a new perspective, such as Christo's Valley Curtain and Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck." His light artworks reflect these interests.

"I like how light creates a special scene in the darkness."

We asked Shimada what he thinks the future holds for light art: "I think it's going to be a major art category. Not many people in Japan are familiar with it now, but the light art events are increasing little by little." 

It is the second time that Shimada created an artwork for Amsterdam Light Festival. Do you remember Birds fly around with you from edition #4?

Originally a designer and animator, Masamichi Shimada (1978) has been focused on creating light art for many years. For international exhibitions at museums and festivals, he often finds inspiration in stories that are unique to the local culture. He is supported by the small town - Sawaka - he lives in on the country side of Japan.   

Photo credits: Masamichi Shimada