Artist Quick Draw (February) : Akiyoshi Kitaoka

Master of optical illusions, genius in visual perception, trompe l’oeil connoisseur, expert 3D image-maker. Akiyoshi Kitaoka is a professor in Japan by day and all these things all other times. We gave you a brief introduction to him and his work via the Slate 2014 Planner, but we know those pages cannot hold all his magnificent creations, especially them being visual illusions and all. Perfect then that this year, we’re starting Slate’s Artist Quick Draw of the Month so you can better appreciate their work and discover them further. This is a continuation of our first ever Artist Quick Draw featuring Singapore-based artist, Eshaun. As we mentioned before, and are mentioning again, his work comes with a cautionary statement:

Warning: This page contains some works of “anomalous motion illusion”, which might make sensitive observers dizzy or sick. Should you feel dizzy, you had better leave this page immediately.

At first we thought it was sort of taunting tease, but then after a few minutes exploring his gallery, we found ourselves light-headed and needed to rest our eyes. But we could not resist looking at each and every one of them since they are hypnotizing. How can they not be just a bit short of magic? Some we admit we still do not understand, but some we are completely mesmerized with. Below are just some of our favorites, but you can find hundreds more on his website.


Expanding cushion #6


Snake and Akiyoshi


Uzumaki ampan – Concentric gray circles appear to be spirals

chcolor3Two Rings – The inner ring appears to contract while the outer one appears to expand (optimized Fraser-Wilcox illusion). Moreover, the rings appear to rotate in the opposite directions when observers approach or move away from the image fixating at the center (Rotating Ouchi illusion). Furthermore, the inner ring appears to be more pale-bluish when observers approach the image fixating at the center, while the outer ring appears to be more pale-bluish when observers move away from the image. This image thus gives three different illusions.

To know more about Akiyoshi Kitaoka and his work, visit his site here.

The Slate Team

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