Quite the most technically challenging art of design lies in the composition of elements that make up the sphere of our vision, that which informs us about what we see and whether this be purely a perceived image or an actual sighting of a building through optical instruments like the camera or the human eye. A method of photography using the Zone System advocated by Ansel Adams suggested quite rightly, that an artist should visualize the image in his mind’s eye well before actually taking the photograph. In his Moonrise, Adams showed the application of the Rule of Thirds to suggest how a balanced and more infinitely appealing composition of an image takes due consideration of where elements of the image are placed or if the parts are divided into thirds. It is then also curiously interesting to reflect on this theory, given the unwholesome design of a window or a building facade, whose transoms or mullions simply cut the view out into half or quarters and not thirds.
Composition is a bit like collage, it requires a careful arrangement of the parts that make up a story or narrative that is to be conveyed or communicated to the public at large. In planning work this would be considered essential, for the conveyancing of pedestrian networks or placement of an iconic structure within a masterplan. In smaller realms, the work involves the disposition of various items within a room, or in layman’s terms this would simply be called interior decoration.
In the new world of Internet art and graphics, one has to applaud the masterly work of Jonathan Yuen, who brings together very subtly, the world of photography, art and graphic design through his amazingly sophisticated expertise in composition.