It is a tad bit difficult to believe that the young bespectacled man seated across the table is the famed Japanese light designer Daisuke Yano, whose stamp is on some of the most exotic light displays like Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay and Tokyo’s Skytree.
Within a couple of hours after his arrival in the sultanate, he has already slipped into a keen journey of observation – for instance, the opulently lit lobby of the Chedi hotel. As the evening sets in and light and technology become more prominent in the conversation, Yano explains the concept of the ‘Japanese way of light’, a brief element from the lecture he delivered at the Japanese ambassador, H E Mitsugu Saito’s residence last week.
“Japanese way of using light is to integrate light with nature. Light lives together with the nature,” explains Yano as he further chalks out the similarities and dissimilarities in the usage of light across cultures.
For Yano, cultural factor plays an important role in understanding the ‘way of light’. He highlights this within the paradigm of Omani and Japanese cultures.
“I believe the sun affects the usage of light. For example, Oman is closer to the Equator than Japan so the sunlight is whiter. This makes people in Oman tend to prefer whiter light. Or I heard that some Omanis tend to take a rest in the afternoon and go out at night time. So night is an active time for them and that makes the lights at night more brighter than what we have in Japan.”
Apart from his commercial undertakings, Yano also experiments and leaves his trace across the art world, where he experiments with art installations. Since his inspiration lies mostly in nature, he tries to integrate his art with natural elements.
In October 2015, Yano created his trademark ‘Night Wave’ along the Zushi seashore in Japan. He set light sources along the beach, which illuminated the waves in blue light at night - a spectacle that became an instant hit across social media. He believes that lighting plays an important role in storytelling, especially for an artist.
“The role of light is to draw out the features of the work and basically that is the only thing light can do. So yes, I do feel lighting plays an important role in art form, but we don’t need just light but also the other elements that project it,” said Yano.