Aphorism : Color

Minimal Expression

About Aphorism

An impact that can’t be felt no matter how long of a novel one reads can sometimes be expressed in a single sentence. In addition, in haiku, tanka and so on, which are part of Japanese culture, even the subtle emotions of nature can be expressed with a minimum of words. “Aphorizm” is a project that attempts to express keywords in succinct films. Each week a keyword is adopted, and wowlab designers make that keyword into a film at nearly impromptu speed. Most of these films are not so much productions but fragments of inspiration. Through these experimental projects, we make films as if writing and hope to sense a new filmmaking process. 


Color is extremely important as an element of design. Here, I have brainstormed on the theme of color. Much of this is on topics such as impressions I get from colors and feelings that change depending on color, but some is on awareness of color itself, for example “Is clearness white?” and “What color is a mirror?”


Shape of Color

There are no dirty colors. Colors look dirty when coloration is bad. I heard this when I was a student, and ever since I have been constantly thinking about the mystery of color. For example, what color is a mirror, I wonder, and what kind of color is pure white? And I become anxious. Are the colors I see the same as the colors others see?

Colors are relative. For this reason, even though the color of snow, the color of copier paper, and the color of a polar bear are all actually different colors, we can sum them up as the color “white.” And this is the same for the impressions that colors have. For example, the red of an apple and the red of blood are the same sort of color, but their impressions are totally different. Form and color are mixed by awareness, giving rise to new colors and impressions.

Mamoru Kano

Image colors

We see kanji from day to day, on our cell phones, on TV, on the net and in magazines. If attention is paid to each and every kanji character, it seems that colors can be imagined from things, conditions, and feelings that kanji express. I tried expressing the image that kanji has for me in colors.

For one kanji character one color. Certainly depending on the person the colors chosen will differ. The colors chosen are the colors I imagined.

Koji Murakami


I wonder when I first became aware of colors. It may be that I became aware of the colors I was with my eyes as “colors” when I got crayons. There were twelve colors in the box, which seems like a small number now, but then I thought that was such a variety of colors. Although I could see hundreds of thousands more countless colors with my eyes, at a time when I lived unaware of them, as of the air, even just twelve colors was enough.

From these I chose colors. This work was both fun and difficult. When neighbors were the same color, boundaries could no longer be seen and they seemed to be connected. Now, that’s just common sense, but when I was coloring with all my might, I didn’t notice such things. My memories from that time occurred to me.

Miki Ogata


The kanji for color can be read shiki (season). There are rich expressions for the four seasons that are characteristic of Japan. I tried substituting the key colors of each season that exist in nature. The blue of summer for spring, the red of fall for winter, the white of winter for fall, and the peach of spring for winter.

By substituting characteristic colors, landscapes we are used to seeing change completely, and natural landscapes that should calm our spirits are somehow transfigured into unsettling and odd scenery.

Shinya Kikuchi

Black fire flower

The momentary light of fireworks launched into the night sky emit light with brilliant color and then disappear are ephemeral and beautiful. In this work, I tested what way the look of beautiful fireworks would change when created in simple colors on a background of white.

The white background is not the sky but like paper, and fireworks that have lost their light are like ink that sinks into paper.

Shinya Kikuchi


What in the world is the color of metal? We are usually not so aware of metal color. Its texture, which has the quality of reflecting, changes to a variety of colors depending on the color of its environment.

Like the protective colors of animals, it melts into its environment and harmonizes. This color, which harmonizes with a variety of environments without discomfort, can perhaps also be called natural color.

Kaoru Kudo


Expressions that depend on color.
Delight, sorrow, anger, pleasure
There is a four-character Chinese phrase that expresses delight, sorrow, anger and pleasure.
I tried expressing this delight, sorrow, anger and pleasure using a hue circle.

Depending on the person, colors give various impressions, but I associated red with anger and associated blue with sorrow. I associated red with anger and associated blue with sorrow. For feelings that have opposite implications I selected complimentary colors, and added an animation based on the image of a beating heart.

Yusuke Mizuno


The winter of senior high school examinations, I purchased a Japanese history study guide. There was a single red cellophane sheet in this book, and by holding this over words to be remembered, that had green (a color complimentary to red) background, all became black and I could not read them. This memorization method was exceedingly effective, and as I overused the book it soon became shabby.

The way the single sheet of cellophane erased words like magic (not even a trace could be seen) was a lot of fun. Many years have passed since then, and I’ve forgotten almost all the names of the famous people I so frantically memorized. The cellophane, however, I remember well even today.

Sayaka Maruyama