Spring 2021

Dancing with Light

Yuanyuan “Kay” He collaborated with Colt Hoffman, an Arivaca photographer, to create this image.

Yuanyuan “Kay” He fuses darkness and light, stillness and motion in light paintings — a genre of long-exposure, or slow-shutter, photography. The images capture the trail of light without blurring the subject of the photo. Using a light tube she created, He “paints” light in motion within her photographs.

A composer and video artist with roots in China, He teaches composition, electroacoustic music and orchestration in the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music. Her collaborations intertwine various media to create audiovisual experiences that involve choreographers, dancers, video artists, audio technicians and stage lighting and design artists. 

“As is often the case in performing arts, many factors have to be aligned at exactly the right time to create a good light-painting photograph,” He says. “The practice of how to create magic is a new and amazing experience to me.”

“The final photograph is like a rewarding time capsule that freezes a moment in time.”