By: Cedric van Eenoo  

An image contains visual ingredients of composition, arranged on a surface to create meaning. However, when the focus diverts from what is present to what is absent in the picture, a new dimension can emerge. The offscreen elements appear as significant as their visible counterparts. But by concentrating on what is missing, the mind has a different perception of the art. The message is not direct, but implied, allowing for freedom of interpretation. Utilizing omission rather than addition enables the viewer to recompose the art and project personal emotions. Ultimately, the act of removing generates an aesthetic of absence. In this regard, the exploration of the void leans toward inwardness and discretion, emphasizing introspection. Additionally, a closer look at psychology and its use in the arts with the Gestalt theory describes how the human brain tends to close gaps in visuals that are unfinished. This mechanism generates an immersive experience. Essentially, the Japanese concept of ‘ma’ utilizes and manipulates the in-between, shifting the centre of attention, to enable an intensification of vision. In this configuration, the invisible inspires contemplation, in a similar way poems use metaphors: to suggest, as opposed to signify. The work can then operate on a new level of awareness, where the elements that are missing become quintessential.

Art, Design, Image, Composition, Empty Space, Offscreen
Visual Design
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Cedric van Eenoo

Cedric van Eenoo, Ph.D. is an award winning artist, musician, filmmaker, and scholar. He is a member of Brooklyn Arts Council and is affiliated with Manhattan Graphics Center. He is represented in Japan by Tokyo Art Gallery, and World Fine Art Gallery in New York City.