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Old 07-14-2009, 03:24 AM   #31
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disregard everything i said. apparently overtness and instant closure are what matter in an iwagumi tank. personally i'd want my tank to resonate as my eye constantly jumps around the composition. domination and easy answers would move the design into the mundane.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:40 AM   #32
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Scapes 2 and 3 were the best IMO. The rocks aren't too bold and they flow quite well.
9 looks great as well.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:53 AM   #33
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I think there are too many rocks. JMHO.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:58 AM   #34
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disregard everything i said. apparently overtness and instant closure are what matter in an iwagumi tank. personally i'd want my tank to resonate as my eye constantly jumps around the composition. domination and easy answers would move the design into the mundane.
Iwagumi is simply the idea of creating beauty out of simplicity through elegance and flow of all elements involved. One primary focal point, and 1 or 2 additional supporting focal points are fine. The next big principle is to design in such a way that certain aspects of the layout are hidden from view to give the rock a curiously mysterious feel, and have it flow in such a way that it appears the scape could very well extend far beyond the confines of the aquarium. However a disorganized mismash of rock with excess amounts of focal points only achieves tension from not knowing where to look, that is too overt.

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Old 07-14-2009, 04:43 AM   #35
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I'll probably be the odd man out but I really liked #1. #2 & #3 were actually too overpowering for me.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:33 PM   #36
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Iwagumi is simply the idea of creating beauty out of simplicity through elegance and flow of all elements involved. One primary focal point, and 1 or 2 additional supporting focal points are fine. The next big principle is to design in such a way that certain aspects of the layout are hidden from view to give the rock a curiously mysterious feel, and have it flow in such a way that it appears the scape could very well extend far beyond the confines of the aquarium. However a disorganized mismash of rock with excess amounts of focal points only achieves tension from not knowing where to look, that is too overt.
i'd like to see your definition of "curiously mysterious feel" or explain how something "extends far beyond the confines of the aquarium." maybe you'd realize design is not always about being definitive, but rather its about being entertaining as the viewer discovers and makes conjectures as to what matters. the artist's design comes to life through this active engagement with the composition. your hinting at that at best with your lucid terms and lack of clarity. why don't you offer something of real substance that isnt so subjective. the solution you gave before about the lion pride was much better over this formula based method your describing now.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:12 PM   #37
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Geez... this is turning into a battlefield. Special Plans, it isn't exactly a "lucid term" by describing something that "extends far beyond the confines of an aquarium". Simply put that translates using vocabulary only a notch less complex; "your rock arrangement could provide an easy method of continuation" or "your rock arrangement could appear to be a small part of a greater whole". Stop trying to downplay people when you know well what they mean. This forum is here to provide helpful and positive collaboration, not the later.

A "curious and mysterious feel" I would agree is perhaps a bit vague, but that is the idea. If that phrase was more descriptive it would loose its mysterious intent . Basically, when you look at the tank you should feel something powerful... the same sensation you get when viewing Stone Henge or the Grand Canyon (a synthetic and natural example provided for your benefit). Its creation, form, method of existence is dumbfounding. We have an understanding of how it came into being or reasons for its current position, but we still feel dwarfed by such a feat/scale/evolution.

I for one think his contribution was great and what he had to say will help this tank (if the aquascaper chooses to acknowledge it) on its way to fruition.

We get the fact that you are passionate about design, but ease up... no need for hostility.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:17 PM   #38
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i'd like to see your definition of "curiously mysterious feel" or explain how something "extends far beyond the confines of the aquarium." maybe you'd realize design is not always about being definitive, but rather its about being entertaining as the viewer discovers and makes conjectures as to what matters. the artist's design comes to life through this active engagement with the composition. your hinting at that at best with your lucid terms and lack of clarity. why don't you offer something of real substance that isnt so subjective. the solution you gave before about the lion pride was much better over this formula based method your describing now.
I'd be happy to elaborate more. I kept the last post short, since I don't want to be hijacking jaidexl's thread, but it at least has relevance to the main post, but I think past the next response we should engage via pm if you want to continue the conversation, unless Jaidexl states that this is an okay medium.

You make a very good point in that design isn't about being definitive - I would argue that it almost assuredly should not be past a certain point. Additionally, you're also correct in that the ultimate goal of this or any art is to create impressions or invoke emotions in the eye of the beholder - indeed Iwagumi is Impressionistic. Hence the relevence to emotional terms used to describe layouts or how you want to design a layout.

The most common question in regards to Iwagumi that I hear, is "what is Iwagumi" or "what makes an Iwagumi an Iwagumi." What distinguishes this art from the cleverly placed stone hardscapes prevelant in items like Malawi tanks?

Well, unfortunately (or fortunately) the distinguishing marks are a set of a few rules that at best are unclear, and oftentimes 'unspoken' rules, aside from the obvious (like putting wood in your tank instantly makes it not an Iwagumi) these aren't always easy to follow. For example, there should be only one main stone (although it is not impossible to pull off a scape with 3 main stones, but in these cases very little, if any support stones are used), and the rest of them should be in a sense, bowing to the awesome greatness that is the main stone. The main stone and main focal point acts as the conductor of the symphony - guiding how the orchestra will play and tying everything together to create harmony on what would otherwise be a random mishmash of sound.

As previously stated, Iwagumi is impressionistic - the impression of the layout going beyond the boundaries of it's glass cage is of importance - by using open space and keeping rock positions "open" (that is to say they aren't all pointed inward), it creates the impression that the scape was simply cut out of a scene in nature and you're only seeing a part of it, the rest extends past the glass box. Another way of achieving this, such as in mountainscapes is by having the edges of the mountains go up to the sides of the glass, planted in such a way that contributes to this feeling. A curiously mysterious feel is just the impression that you don't get to see the entirety of the rocks presented - that there is something more to them just around the bend if you could catch a peak, this subtly invokes interest to the design.

Iwagumi's main layout principles and simplicity and clean upkeep of plants is a direct evolution from Iwagumi as seen in Karesansui (or "Zen Rock Garden"), in which sand is used to give the impression of water, as just one example. So, I suppose you could go as far to say that by 'flow' what's really meant is to give the impression that the scape is in liquid motion figuratively and literally. The rules are important to follow - as in any art, but at the same time this doesn't prevent creative twists and turns (for example, mountainscapes can also be classified on Iwagumi if they meet fundamental rules). Iwagumi is -ALMOST- completely contradictory in it's setup, or maybe that's just because we don't fully understand this eastern art form. I realize there is more I could elaborate on, but as is this has gotten fairly long-winded.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:32 PM   #39
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As a short addendum it warrants adding that ultimately - the design should give the impression and feeling that the creator wants it to display. This is why I worked mostly with what the author was trying to achieve with his layout as he posted. As a viewer or designer having a different favorite or the like doesn't make them any less of a credible aquascaper, Malawibiswas enjoys aquascape #1 - perhaps a reflection of his taste for a more gentle/serene approach, clwatkins enjoys #2 and #3, maybe because he enjoys dynamism. The contrast here in no way shape or form makes one right or the other wrong, and neither opinions makes them a less credible aquascaper (indeed, they're quite good at it!).

So, essentially, I should say that when I am critiquing an aquascape, it's only the aquascape - never the designer or people who like A vs. B or C. So I apologize if it ever seemed like I was criticizing the people who like oranges instead of apples.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:55 PM   #40
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my point was to try to push all this subjectivity to the next level. voting on a best scheme without clarifying the criteria is useless. even still, the vast majority of your comments are about affect or how the arrangement makes someone feel. that is all well and good, but your prescribing a result to a design yet to be determined. all that gives somebody is a recommendation as to what feeling they need to have when they observe the stones in the right position.

instead, i'm saying some kind of vocabulary has to be used to evaluate these layouts. intention, horizons, depth of field, intensity of light/shade, spatial relationship, gestalt theory, etcetera. if i come off as hostile, its my hostility for the ADA judging panels and all the gypsy rederick they use to hide the fact that they know little about actual design, sculpture, and space, when in actuality they simply have the most experience fooling around with this wonderful hobby. so my argument is, stop trying to be like those guys, following their rules; and instead, understand why they have these rules, know how to manipulate them to your own intention, and have fun with it! 46 and 2, right on through, ride the spiral to the end. let go, let go, let go!
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:02 PM   #41
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WOW... whats the saying again.....
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:30 AM   #42
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! 46 and 2
What does this mean?
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:32 AM   #43
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modern man has 44 chromosomes and 2 sex chromosomes while prehistoric man has 42 chromosomes plus 2 sex chromosomes. 46+2 is the next state of being. its from a song on tool's aenema. thought maybe someone would get it.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:49 AM   #44
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modern man has 44 chromosomes and 2 sex chromosomes while prehistoric man has 42 chromosomes plus 2 sex chromosomes. 46+2 is the next state of being. its from a song on tool's aenema. thought maybe someone would get it.
I know the song. I didn't think it was what you were referencing. I thought if they knew anything about genetics they'd be out making the cure for cancer. And, if we're going to talk about tool music, it stops with Undertow and Opiate. Period. They should have quit while they were ahead. Go on to do other things. Disappear into the ether.

But, let's get back to planted tanks.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:31 PM   #45
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we're waiting for jaidexl to finish his move and set this baby up. i for one expect his next post to more climactic than barry obama's opening pitch last night.
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