Assignment 4 – Minimalism Review

(National Gallery)

By Olafur Eliasson

This work definitely leave a deep impression on me. The very first time when I visited this space, my friend screamed and asked me “AM I COLOURBLIND” and I was like “HUH?!”. Then the lady who work there told us that its normal and explained that its part of the experience.

At first we will only see saturated yellow light that makes all colours appear to be shades of yellow, grey and black. However, once you are in the room long enough and get comfortable with the space, with the degree of abstraction it entails, and that’s when we can start paying attention to what is happening with our vision.

Animated GIF

In this space, it is covered in light from mono-frequency lamps that emit light of around 589 nanometres in wavelength, in the yellow region of the visible spectrum. This work shows how the brain adjust the colour of known object to make them appear the same colour in radically different lighting conditions.

Olafur Eliasson created a series of environments that explore the scientific effects of light and colour on our vision.

I think what the artist want us to understand that our sense of perception is not fixed and it changes with our environment. He transform the space into a room filled with a single colour when it “force” us to view things in a single manner. Thus if our perspective is altered, many things would appear different to us. Colour can play a big role in people recognising certain object, thus by removing colours will we view the object different? Or will our brain tell us that its still its original colour?

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