The Poetic Depth of NAO IWAMATSU’s “By Shadows” Furniture Series

All images courtesy of NAO IWAMATSU, shared with permission

NAO IWAMATSU’s “By Shadows” Furniture Series

NAO IWAMATSU, an industrial designer based in Tokyo, takes a bold step with his groundbreaking series, “By Shadows.” This innovative collection transcends traditional boundaries by materializing shadows into tangible forms, offering a fresh perspective on furniture design. By harnessing the intrinsic beauty and depth of shadows, IWAMATSU invites us to contemplate the interplay between light, form, and perception.

The essence of “By Shadows” lies in its conceptualization of shadows as a singular material. Through meticulous craftsmanship and conceptual clarity, IWAMATSU traces the ethereal contours of shadows, bestowing upon them a tangible existence. The resulting furniture pieces blur the line between reality and illusion, challenging our conventional understanding of form and structure.

The Poetic Depth of NAO IWAMATSU's "By Shadows" Furniture Series
The Poetic Depth of NAO IWAMATSU's "By Shadows" Furniture Series

IWAMATSU’s design philosophy is a return to the primitive act of “tracing,” a fundamental aspect of human creativity. Drawing inspiration from the origins of painting, where shadows served as the genesis of artistic expression, IWAMATSU breathes new life into this ancient practice. By embracing simplicity and rawness, he imbues his creations with a sense of authenticity and timelessness, reminiscent of humanity’s earliest artistic endeavors.

The structural integrity of “By Shadows” is supported by the subtle interplay of light and shadow. The parts that make contact with the ground seem to defy gravity, creating an illusion of weightlessness and poetic transcendence. Through IWAMATSU’s masterful manipulation of shadows, the furniture exudes an aura of enchantment, as if plucked from the pages of a surrealist painting.

The Poetic Depth of NAO IWAMATSU's "By Shadows" Furniture Series
The Poetic Depth of NAO IWAMATSU's "By Shadows" Furniture Series

In a stroke of brilliance, IWAMATSU elevates the significance of shadows by adorning them with metallic gleam and vibrant hues. Far from being mere background elements, the shadows take center stage, symbolizing the unseen forces that underpin our existence. Just as shadows faithfully follow their subjects, silently supporting and shaping their form, so too do countless individuals labor in obscurity, sustaining the intricate fabric of modern society.

NAO IWAMATSU’s journey as a designer reflects a harmonious blend of contemporary aesthetics and societal consciousness. Drawing from his rich background in industrial design and mastery of form, IWAMATSU infuses his creations with a profound sense of purpose and meaning. The minimalist yet evocative forms that characterize his work are a testament to his unwavering commitment to craftsmanship and conceptual rigor.

The Poetic Depth of NAO IWAMATSU's "By Shadows" Furniture Series


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