Meet Jadikan, the French Photographer who ‘Paints with Light’

238 secondes, mars 2010 │ Courtesy of Jadikan
238 secondes, mars 2010 │ Courtesy of Jadikan
Photo of Paul McQueen
25 February 2017

Artists have been painting with light since the 19th century, including Picasso and Matisse who tried their hands at it in 1949. But contemporary light painters like France’s Jadikan are taking the art form into new territories. His relatively simple technique, a combination of long exposure photography and performance, enables him to bring abandoned places in Paris and beyond to life without Photoshop or any other kind of computer trickery.

464 secondes, février 2009 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

For those who aren’t so hot on the mental maths, 464 seconds is just under eight minutes — otherwise known as the time it takes to fill a dark, abandoned building with light.

66 secondes, février 2009 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This was taken at Hangar Y in Meudon. Constructed for the 1878 Exposition Universelle, this airship hangar is the oldest of its kind and possesses a rich history, both in terms of aviation and art. Renard and Arthur Krebs built La France, the first closed-circuit aircraft, here in 1884 and Marc Chagall used it 80 years later to assemble his Opéra Garnier ceiling.

84 secondes, juillet 2009 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This surreal, somewhat unsettling image was created in just over one minute.

283 secondes, novembre 2009 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This light painting speaks to the street art of Djalouz and the work also appears on the cover of Jadikan’s book.

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440 secondes, novembre 2009 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

A parking lot behind a warehouse is transformed by a Catherine wheel of light.

238 secondes, mars 2010 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This drawing class in an old fire station in Paris has been given an electric charge.

142 secondes, mai 2010 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, is captured here with a globe of light. The traditional flags had been removed to facilitate the recovering of the stupa with gold leaf, a task which is completed every hundred years.

270 secondes, novembre 2010 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This is the first in a series of artworks created at the Piscine Molitor in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

125 secondes, novembre 2010 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

The Art Deco swimming pool and hotel were the ultimate Parisian hangout during the 1930s and ‘40s (the bikini made its first appearance here in 1946) but it slowly fell into disrepair and was closed in 1989.

282 secondes, novembre 2010 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

Since these photographs were taken, it has been completely refurbished and is again one of Paris’ most glamorous destinations.

105 secondes, juin 2011 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

Jadikan traveled to Miami Beach, Florida, to take this shot of a lifeguard house at 35th Street.

30 secondes, juillet 2011 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This incredible image of the Pyramide du Louvre in Paris was taken at 3 o’clock in the morning when the artist was sure he wouldn’t be disturbed by a passing guard.

223 secondes, janvier 2012 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This image was created as part the ‘RGB Experiments-2012’ series. Check out this stop motion video for further insight into Jadikan’s work at an abandoned bike factory near his hometown of Grenoble.

63 secondes, juillet 2012 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This wonderfully spooky picture was taken at an abandoned carpentry workshop.

224 secondes, janvier 2012 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This is another shot from the ‘RGB Experiments-2012’ series.

89 secondes, janvier 2013 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

On the rooftop of a vacant building in Miami Beach, a man appears to be in the sights of a few dozen snipers.

13 secondes, mars 2013 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

A trail of light into the metro station at Place de la Concorde in Paris.

164 secondes, mars 2014 │ Courtesy of Jadikan

This gorgeous, wintry shot was taken inside a drained dam.

114 secondes, Chambon │ Courtesy of Jadikan

Inside an old dam installation near the Lac de Chambon in Isère.

117 secondes, Lancey │ Courtesy of Jadikan

Another industrial location, this time in Lancey, close to Grenoble.

You can find more of Jadikan’s work on his website and experience his amazing 360-degree pictures, which are best when viewed on a smartphone or better yet with a Google Cardboard or similar headset.

Jadikan’s current exhibition at the Maison Bergès — Musée de la Houille Blanche entitled Chorégraphies Nocturnes is on until October 1, 2017.

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