Nov 21, 2015 | By Benedict

Creative collective Drzach & Suchy has unveiled its latest project: 3D printed shadow haikus. The Swiss artists have created a set of 3D printed mesh boards, which, when placed on water, spell out the words to a famous haiku in the shadows below.

Manipulation of light and shadow is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most effect weapons in the artist’s arsenal. Contrast between dark and light has long been one of the key principles of photography and painting, but Drzach & Suchy has frequently devoted its time to creating art that consists primarily of the shadows themselves. The collective’s prior works include Solar Palm and Got M?, the latter being a bizarre fluid portrait of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy made out of milk. Their latest offering, haiku, uses 3D printed boards to produce an unusual shadow effect, spelling out a haiku written by 17th century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho.

A haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, generally consisting of three lines. The first line contains 5 syllables, the second 7, and the last 5, making a total of 17 syllables. The haiku chosen by Drzach & Suchy is one of the most famous of all time, and has been translated into English in 31 different ways. The translation used by the Swiss artists reads:

old pond

frog jumps in

sound of water

Whether you are familiar with the brief poem or not, the subject matter is clearly something timeless and universal. The haiku evokes clear and powerful imagery, and nature has been a source of inspiration for poets for millennia. However, the observant amongst you may have noticed that those three lines add up to, not 17, but 9 syllables. That’s because the original Japanese words of the haiku are longer:

Furu ike ya

kawazu tobikomu

mizu no oto

The words of the haiku are turned into shadows in an interesting way. The artists 3D printed a set of intricately designed mesh grates, using the services of i.materialise. The 3D printed pieces don’t look like much on their own, and could easily be mistaken for something on which to wipe your shoes. But when the sheets are laid upon the surface of water, sunlight from above casts shadows of the words onto the bed of the water container. Each sheet can cast the shadow of two different words or phrases, one on each side. The video below shows one of the artists placing and rotating the 3D printed sheets to read the words of the haiku in sequence.

Without wishing to overshadow the achievements of Drzach and Suchy, here’s a haiku of our own:

filament goes in

beautiful objects emerge

3Ders report



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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