It has been a fruitful journey doing my research. In the beginning, I was not confident enough to conduct a research and even doubting to get enough materials for my field of study simply because of unfamiliarity with the keyword ‘figure-ground’. However, throughout my tutor’s guidance and many useful resources, I managed to obtain a number of significant texts and useful information. In which I have been making good use of them for my practice, design principles and even perception analysis.
After spending few months on reading journals and books, I have been fruitfully rewarded in strengthening my visual analysis, particularly in depth levels and grouping perception phenomenon. Among all the texts, I found myself more interested in Wertheimer’s ‘Laws of Organization in Perceptual Forms’, Koffka’s ‘Perception: An Introduction to the Gestalt-theories’ as well as Rudolf Arnheim’s Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye. These texts have been contributing tremendous amount of theories and explicit details for my area of study, by which I managed to perform analysis for my practice, visual research and perceptual experiments. Many of these theories and principles built up a solid foundation for my deeper understanding on figure-ground conditions, layout and composition for visual art. They gave rise to the further concept development for my illustration, which allowed me to escape from the traditional way of visual experiments and clichéd ideas. More specifically, I have done some ambiguous composition practices and line experiments in conjunction with a series of Gestalt laws, such as law of similarity, law of direction, law of proximity and law of common fate. These experiments in simple elements are essential for the whole practice outcome. The theory of multistability and depth level, which had been enhanced in Arnheim’s text, are evident while working on my visual research and experiments. Overall, my artistic approach and visual analysis for figure-ground situation are mainly derived from Gestalt theory. Eventually, the theory also has become my inspiration and direction to explore new ideas in practice module.
My main motive to enroll in this course is to develop a personal art style in my illustration career, as well as to deepen my understanding in the field of art. Alongside with my research progress, there has been a great improvement in my knowledge and personal styling development. It was exciting to see the whole progress of development, from merely a keyword to the establishment of practice. Spending few months of reading, the application of theories has not only motivated me to break away from traditional visual articulation, but also kept me up to develop a distinctive style in future. My understanding in Gestalt principles has been playing an active role to decode a variety of visual perceptions, as well as being a foundation to understand other theories.
Applying Wertheimer’s Gestalt laws into art project was totally a new experience to me. The combination of phycology laws, drawing techniques and concept were challenging, and yet inspiring for the whole learning progress. This is the study that I wish to further develop in future. The whole research progress did not only resolve creative and technical problems, but has also become a methodology to review my problems.
In conclusion, I have found the research and enquiry module not only is an important progress to source whatever material in my area of study, but is also a critical platform to reflect on what I have learned throughout the research progress. Moreover, it helps me to solve my creative and technical problems that allow me to understand my study and methodology better.