Art And Design Series. Dominance in Shibui.

All of these images above show dominance.


When it comes to Shibui Found Image Art, the events within the field have dominance. They are what stands out. There is an order of importance in which to pay attention. The field, in the case of a Shibui foundation, acts as the “ground”. The ground or the field support what is dominant in the foundation. Finding what is dominant in the foundation is finding one event or several events. The event is what the story of your image is about. This raises the question of what is there to support the event. This when it comes to a Shibui is always a surprise! The smaller supportive events within any given field are what they are and are relatable because it simply is how Shibui works. Odd combinations do occur out of the randomness of action art. Dominance matters regarding composition.

The composition of a Shibui foundation is different than the traditional foundation of art, no matter if it is paper or canvas. What is composed on either paper or canvas is established by planning and drawing it. You may modify it as you go. The foundation of a Shibui however has no pre-drawn under-structure. What is dominant is not established in this way. Shibui is construed from action art, and therefore what is dominant is found once action art has occurred.

You can say there is a hierarchy within a field and its events. What stands out? “Dominance hierarchies are established for the same reason in design and nature. Nature is design, very intricate designs in most cases. They provoke a ranking-order among the various elements or events and, at the same time, help to determine their relative value and meaning.” How does this apply to Shibui? When a foundation is worked with, to find what is there, a Shibuiest is considering what is the most important event or events and secondarily what is less important but supportive. There is an evaluation going on. Meaning is established by what the found event is. The results are the foundation’s story. The design then is the completed foundation with its intricacies.

What is dominance according to Phil Paratore’s book Art And Design? “Dominance is defined by dictionaries as the authority, the power to rule and control. For the average person, it is laden with cathexis. Its emotional overtones are apparent to all, especially in an age of intense self-consciousness and self-examination such as ours. But dominance occurs in many forms and is not simply a matter of brute force or overwhelming strength.” Dominance stands out, like someone pretty or handsome in a crowd. Someone or something that stands out is usually seen first and continues to be noticed. Dominance is a complex and dynamic system when it comes to art, photography, music, etc. It is not strict conformity; in fact, it is extremely sensitive, and easily changed or influenced. Shibui’s conformity is practical as it makes its own order of operations which are unique to the individual applying them. They stem from imagination and are triggered through prediction.

By Pejj Nunes

I live in Southern Maine. I am the owner of Anisette Studios. My website is Here you can view and purchase Shibui, sign up for my newsletters, blog, and read articles about Shibui Found Image Art. Patrons get great deals several times a year and special items at times. My site makes it easy to contact me. My primary art form is Shibui Found Image Art. Shibui begins with action art and stems from the imagination. It is like seeing something in the clouds or solving a puzzle. Its creative process has its own rules and requires what I call reverse engineering due to a lack of an understructure and purely out of the imagination. In addition to those who patron me, my target groups are those who use art therapy. I will soon be teaching live. Contact me if you would like to learn live. I use Zoom. I request that although my art, other images, and what I write is now published by me here on WordPress; I do ask you do not to use my artwork, poetry, or the information about Shibui Found Image Art without my permission. I am quite available to make such requests. I wish to share the following: The existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote a book called The Ethics of Ambiguity. In it, she lays out a guiding ethic in response to the philosophy of existentialism. It might be somewhat familiar to you already. She writes, “To will oneself free is also to will others free. This will is not an abstract formula. It points out to each person concrete action to be achieved.” Best wishes to all! Have good times and keep safe! Pejj

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