Client: New Mexico History Museum
Location: Santa Fe, USA
Completion date: 2009
Artwork budget: $135,000
Kumi Yamashita Studio
New Mexico Arts
“Fragments” is a Light & Shadow sculpture situated in a study / learning area of the New Mexico History Museum. This wall mounted artwork spans roughly 25 feet and consists of 40 colored cast resin squares. When the squares are lit from the side by a metal halide light that is recessed into an abutting wall, they reveal actual facial profiles, in shadow, of residents of New Mexico.
This commission was very specific in that the artwork needed to embody / reflect the rich history of the state of New Mexico. This requirement drove not only the design of the work but also the content. An organic oval pattern that could continue out to infinity with no exact center became the starting point of the design and the use of shadow seemed appropriate for a work that deals with something as intangible and ephemeral as history.
After a national competition, I was selected for the Art in Public Places (AIPP) commission administered by the New Mexico Arts Commission (NMAC). I worked with both NMAC and the NM History Museum with regards to design, location selection, etc. As this was a new building in the process of construction, there was much dialogue and scheduling with both parties and also the museum's contractors. Installation of the artwork happened in conjunction with construction and was timed to be ready for the Museum's grand opening date.
The 40 profiles depicted in the artwork are people I met while traveling throughout New Mexico in 2008. It is both testament and celebration of the people whose names may never make it into the history books or history museums, but who definitely make up the rich fabric of life in a pueblo, city, county, and state.