Art And Design Series. Shibui and Symmetry?

Study this
image a bit.

Shibui and Symmetry

The question is how can you even apply symmetry to Shibui Found Image Art when it begins with action art. For Shibui to fit this criterion it has to be established at the beginning before action art, unless it somehow happens naturally, this is unlikely. Then how could it happen at all? Shibui would need to have intentional symmetry which would fall into the category of design work. To accomplish its goals this would need to happen first!

To have symmetry there are two sides with a central axis in the middle. This field is bisected. This same effect can be created by using the wet medium, but its placement on the foundation (the paper) is an intentional act of creation. The intent? Perhaps to create a horizon or to add color for design purposes.

The application of symmetry is the use of tension, dominance, and what is known as a release or no tension. Shibui at times is reverse engineering. This means the Shibuiest thinks about how a possible illusion can be created. This means building in this illusion, by the use of the wet medium for its potential, and through the possibilities of design work. Why possibilities? Because not everything is controllable when it comes to creating Shibui. Action art is possibilities and likelihood, it creates what it will. We know what might happen. But, it may or may not come close. Action art creates chaos and randomness. This is why if there is to be symmetry it is created prior to action art. It will be subtle, the illusion for depth, horizon lines, or simple as a benefit of colorization. It lends itself to harmony. It is a field where events will happen. It is a part of the relationships that form.

This is what Phil Paratore states in his book, Art and Design about symmetry. “If a design is divided in half along a central axis and both halves are identical or similar, it is considered symmetrical. A simple bisected field shows that dominance is often minimal or absent in symmetry, for both halves are apparently equal. But, when it is not equal halves, let’s say a dip in what would be a straight line; it still has symmetry. Think of a photo of the tide coming onto a beach. This is the image in Art and Design. This photo makes the argument. “Such designs are ambiguous, displaying a tendency toward the flip-flop, or negative-positive reversal, characteristics of much illusionist art.” Think of the ying-yang symbol.

Symmetry is “stable, and balanced, its tension is minimal because the energy is in storage.” The amount of what has been created appears equal, or close to equal for the illusion to work. We can think about this concept by thinking of how a teeter-totter works. If there is more tension on one side the teeter-totter is up a bit, the tension is not equal (level). If it is way up with one side down to “the ground” then there is dominance. For example, a yet block of color is 3 in X 3 in square and a second block is red but only 1in. X I in. square. When set on the teeter-totter the larger square is dominant. And likewise if half of a sheet of paper has more than half dominant with more color on the right than left. Phil’s book reads as follows, this is a good way to think of symmetry. “Summery: !. No difference, no dominance, no tension. 2. Small difference unclear dominance, high tension. 3. (There is) large-difference dominance and low tension.

Symmetry may be compared to a balanced plank. In storage, tension is minimal a condition of now dominance prevails.

However you apply symmetry, these are what you bring into the process. It is how to bring such things into the illusion of creating a Shibui. The point is to create realism or abstraction, to challenge the self and solve the puzzle a foundation creates. The use of color is more than fun, it has its own work to do. It helps create the road map into the Shibui a viewer will follow. He or she will recreate what steps you have done naturally. His or her brain will redo the puzzle. The story will entertain him or her. The story will vary from your own in that the viewer’s imagination will take over. The mind will interpret the symmetry, the balance, and what shocks the senses it will return to. Events create that jolt of mystery. The field supports and leads the viewer to the events.

The argument for symmetry within Shibui.
The illusion of symmetry and Shibui may appear something like this. It’s not that one side mirrors another side here in this example of a Shibui Foundation. But! This foundation has what is seen as regularity, there is evenness, uniformity, it depicts an equilibrium, consistency, congruity, conformity, agreement, orderliness, and equality. It has correctness or a pleasing proportion of its parts (events_ work well for its overall symmetry. It has balance, proportions, regularity, an evenness of form, harmony, a certain consonance, and a similarity between different things. It has commonality or relationships between events, supportive events, and the field it is in.
Consider this foundation. What is dominant? How does it work?
How has dominance, balance, the illusion of symmetry worked here?

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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