The Mysterious Japanese Ambigrams of Issei Nomura

the sculpture depicts the kanji for sun (陽) but when lit at the right angle, casts a shadow of the character for shadow (陰)

An ambigram is a word or phrase that can be interpreted differently depending on the angle or orientation that it’s viewed. It can make for some pretty cool trick-art, which is why artist Issei Nomura finds it so intriguing.

One piece in particular that he created in 2013, which has been making the rounds on social media, is quite fascinating. The metallic sculpture depicts the kanji character for sun (陽). But when a light is cast at just the right angle the shadow depicts the kanji for shadow (陰), poetically rendering the phrase 陰と陽, or Yin and yang.

The 27-year old artist is based in Toyama prefecture where he pursues his interest in ambigrams while also creating custom-made ambigrams for brands, corporations and individuals. Obviously his own logo is an ambigram too. The dark letters spell のむら (Nomura) while the negative space inside spells いっせい (Issei).

You can see more of his work over on Netgeek, as well as on Issei’s own site.


the artist’s own name as ambigram

Spoonful is a category of news on Spoon & Tamago that provides short, lighthearted stories on Japanese art, design and culture.

Comments are closed.

© 2024 Spoon & Tamago

Up ↑

Design by Bento Graphics