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Japanese Notan

Expanding the Square

Jamie Jones

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Japanese Notan

Notan is a Japanese word that means dark and light in harmony.
The idea of Notan can be seen in the symbol of the Yin and the Yang.

It is a harmonious symbol in which the positive and negative space do not "fight" or conflict with each other.
In an artwork, we usually think of the

space as the area taken up by the object,
and the
space as the area around the object.

The concept of Notan helps artists to see how the positive and negative spaces interact to create balanced and unified designs.
Balance means having an equal amount of
visual weight in an artwork.

We are going to use 2 types of balance:

: elements are the same on both sides.
: elements are not the same on both sides but have equal visual weight to seem balanced.

Can you name the third type of balance?
You will create a design where the positive and negative spaces are
connected and equally important to the finished design.
Grading Rubric

An art activity that illustrates some of the principles of Notan.
Cow's Skull:
Red, White, and Blue, 1931
Georgia O'Keeffe
M.C. Escher
Day and Night, 1938
Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-1943
Piet Mondian
Christina's World,1948
Andrew Wyeth
The Starry Night, 1889
Vincent van Gogh
Multiple columns with a complement
or analogous color scheme.
Full transcript