From Impossible Pictures to Real Objects: Workshop with Professor Sugihara Kokichi



Following his talk on 27 September 2019, Japan House London hosts a series of interactive workshops with internationally renowned mathematician and artist Professor Sugihara Kokichi (Meiji University, Japan).

The term ‘impossible pictures’ or ‘impossible objects’ originally was used to refer to illustrations of imaginary 3D structures that cannot exist as real physical objects. 

Through his research into the mathematical construction of these images, Professor Sugihara Kokichi has discovered that some of these so called ‘impossible pictures’ are not necessarily impossible; in fact some can be realized as actual 3D objects.

Starting with this finding, Professor Sugihara has developed various mind-bending 3D ‘impossible objects’ and optical illusions.

During each of these special workshops Professor Sugihara shows participants how to create a model of one of his most famous award-winning optical illusions. In the ‘impossible motion’ illusion ‘Magnet-Like Slopes’ marbles placed on slopes appear to roll uphill. Watch the demonstration video here.

Explore Anno Mitsumasa’s own ‘impossible pictures’ in the exhibition ‘Anno's Journey: The World of Anno Mitsumasa’ on display in the Japan House Gallery until 27 October 2019.

About Sugihara Kokichi
Sugihara Kokichi is a Meiji University distinguished professor emeritus as well as a professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo. His research area is mathematical engineering. Through his research on computer vision he developed a method for constructing 3D objects from ‘impossible figures,’ and extended his research interest to human vision and optical illusion. Constructing mathematical models of human vision systems, he has created various new classes of impossible objects. His illusions have won the first prize in the Best Illusion of the Year Contest three times in 2010, 2013 and 2018, and the second prize twice in 2015 and 2016.

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