Cave Inside the Body of Shadows
kinetic light installation
‘Cave Inside the Body of Shadows’ is an installation centered around the phenomenology of (mixed) identity, relationships, and the influence that digital communication has on them.
The work is a kinetic light installation that transforms the space into an artificial “reverse” sundial by means of a revolving spotlight placed in the center of the space. Mimicking the movement of the sun, the beam slowly travels through the exhibition space, from left to right. The beam hits a series of suspended portraits one by one, as if hitting the numbers on a dial. As the beam hits the portraits, they cast a shadow and project a reflection onto the walls and floor. There is a geographical relationship between the sun's trajectory along the meridian and the movement of the beam through the exhibition space. The sunbeam highlights a specific portrait when it is noon at the country of origin of the person portrayed.
Shadow is used as a way to express the intangibility and transformation of both one's identity as well as how someone experiences the other, when for a long period of time digital communication is the only way of social interaction. Ruijters uses his personal history as his main source of inspiration. Ruijters, who has lived in Japan for over 8 years, has Chinese-Indonesian and Dutch roots. These facets of identity—that he observes as carriers of shared cultural heritage—influences all layers of the artwork. The work is also inspired by the Indonesian shadow puppetry Wayang Kulit (which literally means "shadow" or "imagination"). The artwork’s personal phenomenology constitutes an apparatus through which people are invited to reflect on the ways in which space-time distance transforms perceptions of one's identity and relational world.
Artist: Vincent Ruijters
Music: John van Beek
Supported by: International Heritage Cooperation, DutchCulture, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Photo: Naoki Takehisa & Yulia Skogoreva
Video: Hirofumi Seto