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in praise of shadows

I work with the repetition of forms and am fascinated by the translucency of porcelain. My research consists of investigating how to apply textures on the skin surface of a light object playing with light.  The inspiration for this is the play of shadows created when the path of light is blocked.  The concept of light and space speaks to the power of simplicity, the importance of subtlety and the beauty that can be found in shadows. 

Remind, 2023, installation, digital print on silk paper, 23 x 18 cm

Play, 2023, sculpture, porcelain, different applications, 25 x 38 x 38 cm

Connect, 2023, sculpture, porcelain, different applications, different sizes


The inspiration for this work came after reading the book 'In Praise of Shadows', an essay on the essence of the Japanese experience of beauty and the contradiction between Japanese and Western aestheticism, written by Japanese author Jun'Ichiro Tanazaki. Darkness has a unique quality that cannot be replicated by light. While light illuminates everything it touches, darkness has the ability to hide and obscure, creating a sense of mystery and intrigue. In Japanese culture, this idea is reflected in the term "yugen," which refers to a sense of profound mystery and depth often associated with the beauty of nature. Moreover, Tanizaki claims that the beauty of darkness is closely related to the idea of "ma," a term used to describe the interval or distance between objects or events. In traditional Japanese art, the concept of ma is used to create a sense of harmony and balance and to emphasize the beauty of individual objects. Essentially, the beauty of darkness lies in its ability to create a sense of depth, mystery and harmony that cannot be replicated by light. It is a concept that speaks to the power of simplicity, the importance of subtlety and the beauty that can be found in the shadows. As Tanizaki himself writes, "We find beauty not in the thing itself, but in the patterns of shadows, light and darkness, which one thing creates against another." In darkness, we often have only our thoughts and perceptions. The absence of light can be disorienting and intimidating, but it can also offer a unique perspective on the world around us. From a philosophical perspective, darkness can be seen as a metaphor for the unknown and mysterious. It represents the things we cannot see or understand, and which we often fear. But it also offers the opportunity for exploration and discovery. In darkness, we can learn to trust our instincts and make our way through the unknown, getting to know ourselves and the world around us better. One of the most beautiful aspects of darkness is the play of shadows. Shadows are created when an object blocks the path of light, creating a contrasting zone of darkness. Shadows offer a unique beauty that is often overlooked. From an artistic standpoint, shadows can be used to create depth, texture and emotion in an image. They can add drama and intrigue to a scene, and they can emphasize the contours and curves of an object or figure. In many ways, the beauty of shadows lies in their ambiguity. They offer a glimpse into the unknown and mysterious and leave room for interpretation and imagination. Shadows remind us that there is always more than meets the eye, and that sometimes we can see something precisely in the darkness. Darkness is a concept that has fascinated philosophers for centuries. It is the absence of light, and yet it seems to possess a power of its own. At its core, darkness represents the unknown. It is a space where our imagination can run wild, where we can explore the depths of our own minds and discover hidden truths. Our minds cannot wander in darkness to what we cannot see, but instead darkness forces us to explore and let our imaginations run wild. In a sense, darkness is when light is scarce, which forces us to adapt and discover new ways of seeing and perceiving the world. It is a positive force that can make our experiences deeper and richer. It is a kind of fog that simultaneously obscures and reveals, forcing us to use our senses to navigate and perceive the world around us. Twilight is a time that reveals the sensitivity of darkness, highlighting the subtle nuances of light and shadow that make up our world. Darkness is cool and can be both soothing and invigorating, depending on the context. It is a time to use our senses and perceive the world in new and unexpected ways. Ultimately, darkness is a part of life, a reminder that not everything is visible and that sometimes we must rely on our instincts and intuition to find our way. Darkness is a paradoxical force that can both obscure and reveal. It hides true beauty, but also gives peace and increases visibility. It gives a sense of intimacy and is defined by little or no light. A certain amount of darkness can bring calmness and softness to an environment, while gradations of darkness create an atmospheric mood. In darkness, voices become softer and more diffuse, with a sense of confidence or distrust, depending on the context. Darkness has something smoky about it and demands patience, making one look and feel more deeply. It can even make you feel more attractive, exciting and melancholy at the same time. Darkness illuminates the depths and richness of the world. It can be cold and unapproachable, or it can be like a quiet dark pond that invites introspection and reflection. Darkness has the power to refine and elevate, bringing a sense of both mystery and clarity. It is a power that demands respect and understanding, for it carries the potential for both danger and wonder. Ultimately, darkness is simply a part of life, a necessary counterbalance to light, and a reminder of the complexity and beauty of the world around us. Ultimately, darkness is a force to consider, with both wonder and fear. It is up to us to embrace the mysteries of darkness and find the beauty that lies within.

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