Yugen is a traditional Japanese concept describing the subtle profundity and elusive nature of things.


Yugen Light Art Display connects to this concept in the way afterimages can be perceived on the retina when viewing this display. The mechanism (called a Saccade-based Display) is a type of Persistence of Vision (POV) display. The blinking patterns of a single column of RGB light sources are spread on the retina by rapid eye movements called "saccades". The 1D images of different retinal locations are integrated into a 2D image due to the persistence of vision. The effect is to give the illusion of images floating in mid-air.




When viewers move their head side to side, while blinking their eyes and moving them back and forth, images become visible. However, if viewers fixate their gaze on the flashing lights, the images vanish, leaving only a column of flickering lights. The visual challenge of viewing these images is that they cannot be viewed at any length, appearing at the edge of one's vision and then vanishing, volatile and elusive. In order to see, a viewer must blink and keep their eyes moving. One way to fix or capture the image is through photography. The images below have been captured by moving the camera, wiggling it back and forth, and the result is a series of discrete, sequential images. What the human eye sees, momentarily, is a single image or an image that flickers right to left and vice versa.

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