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Title: Ma : harmony, balance and the in-between.
Authors: Tan, Luting.
Keywords: DRNTU::Visual arts and music
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Ma is a Japanese space-­‐time concept that addresses the importance and expressiveness of "void" and "gap". The word ma can be vaguely translated as void, gap, interval, pause, blankness, or negative space. The aesthetics of ma centers on the beauty of emptiness in space, time and more accurately, space-­‐time. The negotiation between the tangibles and the intangibles, between the positive and the negative spaces constitute the philosophy of ma. Generally speaking, ma is a harmonious space, which evokes a sense of peace and comfort. However, living in a busy, fast-­‐paced modern society, it is hard to find the sense of harmony with the space around us. In land-­‐scarce modern cities, spaces are filled with high-­‐ rise buildings. Many cosmopolitans in the world are literally concrete jungles where claustrophobia is often experienced. Sometimes, our cities get so crowded; our lives get so hectic that there is hardly a sense of space or direction. There is no doubt that the natural spatial balance has been severely disrupted. In a modern world full of distractions and chaos, the importance and beauty of an “empty”, “negative space” is often neglected. In contrary to popular belief that what is present (“positive”) is more substantial to discuss than what is absent (‘negative’), contemporary minimalist designers have adopted architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s famous quote “Less is more” as their design principles. Many believe that the modern minimalist movements have been highly influenced by traditional Japanese design and architecture. However, western minimalist designs are also often criticized for taking the idea of Japanese Zen minimalism out of context. In this project, I seek to re-­‐visit the Japanese cultural origins of the aesthetic of simplicity, emptiness and harmony, focusing on the space-­‐time concept of ma. As a visual communicator, I aim to create harmonious visual spaces to communicate the ideas of ma to an audience group that may have not been previously exposed to or educated on the subject.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ADM Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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