Concept of Shadow: The Exploration of Metaphors of Shadow in Contemporary Visual Communication

Xiao, Yan
King Tong, Ho
Yap, Leong
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Master of Arts in Art and Design
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis explores shadow and its metaphorical representation in a Chinese-Western, cross-cultural context. It focuses on both the similarities and differences of the concept of shadow from two cultures to introduce a contemporary visual representation in art and design practice. It is a practice-based project and is presented in a book format.

My childhood memories are the key content to explore the metaphorical representation of shadow. The intangible memory is transcended through the Western visible and Chinese invisible shadow in the work. I, as an art and design practitioner, visualize and transcend the emotional experiences of my childhood into my photo-graphic work. This explorative work of shadow is associated with presence and past. It is also a reflection of my personal identity, which profoundly influences the style of my practical work and the format of display.

These different emotional thoughts and experiences of my childhood have culminated into a visual gestalt representation. The book is regarded as an attempt to piece all the fragments of memory together - a physical document that represents the self-disclosure of my memories, emotions and a medium to communicate the visible & invisible shadows. Through exploring the underpinning metaphorical meanings of shadow, I transcend discourse into viscourse2 – transforming theory into practice.

Shades and shadows , Shades and shadows in art , Visual communication , Art
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