Sunday March 1, 2015: my lecture at New York Chinese Opera Society. Inc, New York. “MADE in CHINA LONG AGO – Woodblock Printing Revisited Now” .
Contrasts & Textures
Evens so we dream out of glassy and slick touched out screen instruments our world [natural or artificial] surrounding us is created by the contrast involving texture. As it is thanks to texture that we exist and life is sustainable — imagine just a world where there would be nothing to ‘ grab’ at or bite into, what would our fate become? As soon as you open your screen phone you eyes search for what we has learn to identify as ‘logos’ [ square shape signs], more like a very infantile version of ‘ characters’ … in this matter it is significant the way a logo conduct us to the function ‘phone’ for example, the ‘image’ of it represents an actual phone handle from the 1950’s.
While, the ’email’ function’ uses the image of the back of a postal envelop my grandfather could have used! Their summarize the idea using a clear “visual” contrast. Note that they use in their function “sound” contrast as well as ‘alerts’. This touched ‘logos’ never appear visually ‘flat’ [ even so their are], they all are ‘created with a system of ‘shading’ for the purpose of making them have a 3 dimensional effect. Therefore, creating a sense of volume and by all means to appear as if standing up above the background rather then sticking, blending or fusing into it. This phenomena is by no means new, in Italy entire buildings facades provide you with master designs that are meant to make anyone into believing that sculptures or columns are supporting buildings while they are just fakly painted on it . They give an ‘illusion’ of ‘deeps’, ‘solidity and of high sophistication … while it’s all made to fool your eye into believing on it.
Why go into such a trouble one wander? Simply to respond to our very inner need of identification of a world we know and live in: a 3 dimensional one. After all, isn’t it what defines and surounds us? Add to this evidence, and linked to it, comes the notion of ‘contrast’, our ability to function in a natural and artificial environment depends on it. If i step out from my walking trail by a dense foggy day, the ‘visibility’ being none, meaning ‘contrast’ being none, how am i going to identify my surrounding? I may very well endanger myself stepping one foot from a none visible cliff top. Possibly falling hundreds of feet below, crashing on top of sharp rocks. Versa on a clear windy day, I’ll be more likely able to identify what ‘shapes’ my environment, rock formation, sharp blue and rough surface sea below me…razing awareness of what my move ought to be on my trail.
Without exposing ourself to drastic situation of ‘visibility’, it is certain that capacity to visual contrast is guiding us all over our day. For good or worse impacting us. Be aware of contrast, textural, dark, light, color – as it does affects our moods and behaviors.
Thank you to all for braving the cold weather to attend my lecture…also the photo and video graphers. Special thanks to Yilin for her hardwork and efficients organizing skills, also to Bonnie and Florence for providing us with goodies!
Raimon – [ your fellow learning Chinese calligrapher]
original linoleum cut, linogravure originale, linóleo grabado original incisione originale > Copyright © Raymond Verdaguer 2015