Brilliant Installation Reveals Hidden Shadow Message as the Sun Moves

Daku at Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas

Indian artist Daku moved Stateside for his latest sun-activated installation. As one of fourteen artists working in Las Vegas for the annual Life is Beautiful festival, Daku created a site-specific artwork that reveals itself throughout the course of the day. In this case, the anonymous artist paid homage to the building's former life as a bookstore by placing a literary quote across its facade.

By carefully placing text at precise angles on the building, Daku builds a sort of sundial that reveals words rather than time. As the sun moves across the sky, delicate shadows dance along the stucco until—at the right moment—the text is unmistakable. Reading “Very Slow For Those Who Wait / Very Fast For Those Who Are Scared  / Very Long For Those Who Lament / Very Short For Those Who Celebrate,” it's a quote that's often mistakenly attributed to Shakespeare. In reality, it's actually a slightly modified paraphrasing of the poem Time Is by American poet Henry Jackson van Dyke Jr.

This poem, which was written in 1904, was read at Princess Diana's funeral in 1997 and, interestingly enough, was originally composed as an inscription on a sundial. Now, this time-centric quote has returned to its original intent thanks to Daku's installation. His work subtly encourages viewers to think about the effects of time and to take a pause to observe their surroundings.

Joining Daku at Life is Beautiful were thirteen other artists selected by curators Justkids. Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic created one of his signature whimsical murals, this time depicting two children playing on an infinity sign. Meanwhile, American artist Hottea was inspired by a Kansas sunset for his installation. Using endless yards of colorful yarn, he created a colorful curtain for festival revelers to engage with. Another highlight was an engaging mural by French artist Mantra, who transformed a large facade into a display box for butterflies and moths. The illusion is exacting and realistic, even down to the shadows cast by the insects.

Their work joins a growing collection of public art in Las Vegas. Over the past seven years, Life is Beautiful has brought acclaimed urban artists like Shepherd Fairey, D*Face, Faile, Vhils, Okuda, and Fafi to downtown Las Vegas.

Indian artist Daku created one of his incredible time-sensitive installations for the Life is Beautiful festival.

The anonymous artist worked in downtown Las Vegas, carefully attaching text perpendicular to the wall.

Text Art by Daku

Art Installation by Daku

Daku at Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas

When the sun moves, Daku's message is slowly revealed.

Daku Sundial Installation

Fourteen international artists took part in the festival, which was curated by Justkids for the seventh year.

Ernest Zacharevic for Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas

Ernest Zacharevic

Hottea Art Installation at Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas


Mantra for Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas


Ernest Zacharevic Painting in Las Vegas

Ernest Zacharevic

Ernest Zacharevic for Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas

Ernest Zacharevic

String Art by Hottea


Mantra Mural in Las Vegas


Justkids: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Justkids.

Related Articles:

Sunlight on This Street Installation Casts Shadow Messages About Passage of Time

Innovative Installation Casts Shadows Like a Sundial to Create Moving Messages

13,000 Strands of Yarn Cast a Shimmering Rainbow Inside the Mall of America

Clever New Street Art Incorporates 3D Objects

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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