Rob Ryan’s work can be brought back to shadow play or otherwise called shadow puppetry.
It’s an ancient form of storytelling and entrainment that uses cutout figures in front of an illuminated curtain to create the illusion of moving images. It’s the very early form of the movies we see now on the big screen.
But this doesn’t always have to create the illusion of a moving image. In the movie: “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” you can see that the children projected their parents figure on a curtain that makes the tent they are in. That creates the illusion that their parents are there and watching over them.