Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata has been creating beautiful light art while aboard the International Space Station. Using long exposure photography and a spiral top equipped with LED lights designed by light artist Takuro Osaka, Wakata produces light paintings in an atmosphere of zero gravity. In 2009, Wakata flew as a crew member of the ISS where he first experimented with the Osaka’s spiral top (also pictured here). In 2011, Wakata was assigned as a Flight Engineer for ISS Expedition 38 and the Commander of Expedition 39. Wakata is the first Japanese astronaut to command the ISS. You can check out more of Wakata’s incredible space photos on his Twitter feed. (via i09)
Finnish photographer Janne Parviainen‘s mesmerizing light painting photography is created manually, with no post-production alterations or enhancements. This type of photography is created using various light sources like colored strobes, flash lights, light toys, or tools specifically designed for light painting, and manipulated during periods of long exposure. While a photograph is being exposed, it can be used like a canvas with light as a tool for painting or drawing. Parviainen’s photographs are usually figurative and evoke a ghostly surreality that is beautifully startling. Parviainen uses Finnish urban landscapes as his canvas, exploring and transforming these landscapes into scenes with haunting apparitions.
Parviainen: “What interests me most in light painting is the ability to draw in three dimensional space and the possibility to alter the reality without post processing programs. I like to use in my photos different kind of figures such as skeletons and ghostly light creatures. By using these figures I can add more humane stories into my photos and alter the cultural learned feelings they cause in the viewer of the photo. I especially like to use the skeleton figure because of it’s strong pre-learned emotional concept and place it in totally different situations and emotional stages than in which it’s usually seen in popular culture. ”
In addition to these incredible photographs, Parviainen is also a talented oil painter, creating detailed works on glass. He has tons more work on his Flickr and 500px pages. You can also purchase a book of his work here. (via the only magic left is art)
Artist James Turrell, pioneer of using light as an art medium, once said “Seeing is a very sensuous act“. Charles Matson Lume follows Turrell’s influential path, adding his own sculptural, material and architectural elements to his light works. Though the two have distinct differences, Lume’s idea that “Light is seemingly capable of releasing a kind of secret from the ordinary” holds many similarities to Turrell’s artistic philosophy.
The Twin Cities-based Lume spoke with Beautiful/Decay on the eve of being named to the ArtPrize Shortlist for 3D Works for his piece, The World’s An Untranslatable Language II (for Charles Wright) (pictured above). Using pedestals of plastic warning tapes, as well as neon duct tape, mirrored paper reflects light onto the gallery’s walls, creating the alluring forms and patterns which are the spirit of Lume’s work. The artist adds, “Yes, the light is elemental in my work. However, the materials hold meaning. For me, the pas du deux of light and materials mirrors my experience in the world.”
This relationship between the materials and the light itself is interesting, as it is the artist’s main medium, yet is given more conceptual heft with the importance placed in the ephemeral materials used to support the light works themselves. Many of Lume’s ideas are broadened (and also named after) his interest in contemporary poetry, but the artist quickly adds, “I am interested in visual pleasure, the sensual, and experiential. I am also interested in what distracts us (Is there anything in our culture that isn’t vying for our attention?) What gets in the way of really living a full life? Art allows me to find gestures in which I can sometimes access a kind of authenticity that is true.”
Light painting or light illustration has been a trending technique of late. Darren Pearson‘s skeletal pieces, though, are much more complex than most of the work we often seem to come across. While the camera shutter is open Pearson moves a light much like a brush which leaves its trail on the resulting photograph. The image appears to take up physical space and leave a haunting glow on its surroundings. Each piece also interacts with the surrounding scene, the California landscape which figures largely in much of Pearson’s work. [via]