All photos are stills from “Unbelievable” with Takeshi Kitano aired in 2008.

Kumi Yamashita is a Japanese artist who lives in the US.

She creates evocative images in ways that startle the viewer with unexpected techniques. Ingenious sculptures show a new form when illuminated. What looks like a photorealistic print from a distance is created on a white sheet with judiciously applied shoe prints.

Photos of this art have been making the rounds on various websites, seldom giving the artist credit. We are perhaps more inclined to view this work alone, behind a computer screen, to express our appreciation with typed words we share with people we will never meet. Anonymous viewers for an anonymous artist.

I love this video for more than the fabulous artwork. Kumi Yamashita, her pieces, and her process are presented by Takeshi Kitano as magic and adults appreciate them guilelessly.

Art on TV? Viewers who don’t feel like they have to present a neutral expression or have a degree in art or art history to discuss art? Art as magical and something to be appreciated by everyone?

Only in Japan.

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