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When light leaves, the visible is obscured. When a position changes, the previous view disappears. When not paying attention, a moment is missed.

As I work with glass, I encounter diverse expressions of visible phenomena. These phenomena are everywhere in our daily lives wherever light interacts with glass—windows, household objects and fixtures. When a sunbeam enters a window, it is often scattered by small prisms. When a car passes by a window at night, the texture of the glass is projected on the wall with traces of the light pattern appearing and then instantaneously disappearing, creating a “trigger moment.” My interest lies with these so-called “trigger moments” as they shift awareness within a split second, its image remembered as if suspended in a daydream.

I incorporate light phenomena in my installation pieces. Instead of making simple objects, which the viewer looks at, I create experiences that surround the viewer and affect their senses, directly and broadly. By means of exaggeration, amplification, distortion and division, I seek to generate new perceptions. Viewers become part of the work as they interact with it and observe light. Glass is the net—with which I take the experience of light and share it with others.

My past installations in galleries and theaters have focused primarily on the ephemeral quality of light and the viewer’s changing perceptions. Through these projects, I have become increasingly concerned with the challenge of retaining this element of unpredictability and the uniqueness of the viewer’s experience. Creating permanent public artworks allows me to make such experiences available to an unlimited audience for all ages and over time.

In designing public art, I pay close attention to the local context of the environment, to its surrounding architecture, its history and its ambience as well as the community’s needs. I strongly believe that public art must both enhance and become an integral part of the setting.

When seeing reflections of my completed pieces in my audience’s eyes, I feel an inner satisfaction that my artistic communication process was successful.

Kana Tanaka