Amazing Star Wars shadow art will awaken your wonder (pictures)
Feathers, blue jeans and chocolate-covered cookies transform into strikingly familiar images from Star Wars when light is shined at them, thanks to an innovative young artist.
Shanghai-based artist Hong Yi, also known by her nickname, "Red," likes to make art out of unusual objects. In the past, she's created a portrait of Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei from sunflower seeds; a portrait of singer Adele from 1,500 melted tea lights; one of Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi with dyed carnations; and a hanging structure of martial-arts movie maestro Jackie Chan using chopsticks.
For one of her more recent projects, the Australian-born artist created a series of shadow artworks inspired by the Star Wars movie franchise. She placed a variety of different materials on wire poles, shined a light on them to cast shadows on the wall, and then manipulated the light source till the shadows came together to form an image. In this case, it's a certain lovable Wookiee. The image of Chewbacca was created using feathers. Wouldn't he be tickled?
Because watching the images come to light is even more impressive than seeing them in their static forms, we've included a short video below from Red's Instagram page that shows how they form.
Shadow Yoda, it is
Although Dagobah looks like a pretty moist place, Red decided to create its most famous inhabitant, Yoda, out of dry leaves.
Red says each piece of shadow art took between four and five days to create. When it was time to shine the light on the works, she moved into the bathroom in her warehouse studio. "I needed a dark room," she told CNET's Crave blog.
Dark side indeed
While all of the characters in Red's series work well, somehow portraying Darth Vader through shadows feels the most fitting. After all, how better to capture such a devotee of the dark side of the Force than through blocking the light?
To create the Dark Lord's image, Red used bits of tinfoil.
In a fitting choice of materials, Red used old chopped-up computer graphics cards to create this image of R2-D2.
Red told CNET's Crave blog that in making this series, she first picked the image she wanted to create, then chose the materials for building it. "I chose characters with more prominent silhouettes, so Han Solo was out," she said.
Bond, Leia Bond?
This image of Princess Leia wielding a blaster has a touch of James Bond to it, don't you think? To create it, Red used blue jean scraps with flowers glued to them.
Before embarking on this series of Star Wars images, Red says she first experimented with casting shadows using kitchen implements. The results of that experimentation can be seen on the artist's Instagram page.
For such a hard-edged, blaster-using meanie, it's interesting that Red chose to make a Stormtrooper out of cotton wool. Unless, of course, this was meant to a portrait of Finn, who definitely let his softer side show in "The Force Awakens."
Lastly, to make the image of the Star Wars logo, Red employed a sweet strategy. She created it using cookies covered in chocolate and sprinkles.
"As an artist/designer, I've learned to not be afraid of experimenting and failing; you'll get better at what you do with each step you take," Red said on her Instagram page. "Our responsibility as creators is to sit down and create again and again. May the force be with you!"
To find out more about the artist and her work, visit Red Hong Yi's website here.