Dark and Light harmony

August1, 2013
by Shibumi

Notan is a term used in Japanese art, meaning ‘dark – light harmony’. Notan art is characterised by the interplay of light and dark, white and black, positive and negative, in which these opposites create a harmonious and balanced composition.

Before the kids and i started out on making our own art work, i showed them a collection of Notan art work that really struck me and which could be used as launching pads into our art work.

Each child was given an A4 sheet of black paper, one half of an A4 sheet of white paper , a pair of scissors and a glue stick. They were asked to cut out a series of shapes from one of the sides of their white paper.When they had finished cutting, I asked them to glue their strip of white paper on one side of the black paper, with the cut-out edge facing the middle. The children then put back the shapes they had cut-out, as if they were completing a jigsaw puzzle. I showed them how to flip each shape over, along the central axis, so that each ‘positive’ cut-out shape perfectly mirrored the ‘negative’ space that was left behind.


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