AMBIGUOUS OBJECT ILLUSION: An incredible new design by Kokichi Sugihara

For centuries, optical illusions have fascinated people with their visual tricks, appearing as something and then something else, only to be something else entirely. From the ‘rabbit duck’ illusion that appeared in the US magazine Harper’s Weekly in 1892 (said to be the world’s oldest) to the Magic Eye three-dimensional cacophonies of colour that were the rage twenty years ago, optical illusions have mesmerised and shocked.

Now the deception has really gone 3D. The advent of 3D printing technology for plastics has opened up a new stream of possibilities for artists of groundbreaking optical illusions. One artist who has embraced this is Japanese academic, Kokichi Sugihara, who has released an incredible new design, titled ‘Ambiguous Object Illusion’.

https://twitter.com/RaminNasibov/status/987073594151796738

 

The artwork consists simply of a blue plastic toy with holes. When turned around ninety degrees, the objects holes change from diamonds to circles without any alteration to the fabric of the design. Turn it around again and the holes suddenly increase in size as well as changing shape to triangles and a diamond with curved sides. Introduce a mirror into the mix and things get more surreal, with the object’s reflection completely different to how the real deal appears to our eyes. A closer inspection of the little plastic thingie reveals it has wavy edges, which affect how the object is perceived depending on the angle.

Sugihara’s ambiguous art projects have been a hit online and in 2016 they helped him become a finalist at the Best Illusion of the Year Contest, as well as taking first place in the same competition in earlier years. A mathematician on the faculty of Japan’s renowned Meiji University, his mathematical engineering skills, combined with a love of art, has already produced novelties such as an artwork where a marble appears to be rolling uphill, and another where a circular pipe appears rectangular. Of particular note is his artwork ‘Ambiguous Garage Roof’. His interest in illusions stems from his research in the 1980s on automating the analysis of perspective drawings, including computer programmes that examined the objects featured in the designs of famous optical illusionist M.C. Escher.

The optical illusion works because the holes or cylinders are based on a shape which is halfway between a circle and a square, with the side edges formed as waves. Two sides dip up, and two sides dip down. When combined, the shape is ‘corrected’ depending on which shape is projected into the mirror. Your eyes and brain’s visual cortex do the rest. It is complicated physics and not something this poor author can adequately explain. Nevertheless this mind-frying trick is very confounding.

SOURCES:

PhysicsFun.

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

RΛMIN NΛSIBOV, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/RaminNasibov

“Kokichi Sugihara” – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokichi_Sugihara

“How Does The Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion Work? This Mystery Has The Internet Stumped — VIDEO” – Maddy Foley, Bustle (5 July 2016) https://www.bustle.com/articles/170704-how-does-the-ambiguous-cylinder-illusion-work-this-mystery-has-the-internet-stumped-video

 

 

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