The game of the arches could also be called the game of strokes. Each piece is a line that can make drawings in the air, i.e. three-dimensional drawings. Drawing lines in the air and marveling at the forms that are created, pushing the boundaries of balance, interpreting the unexpected abstract and figurative forms that emerge… this is what the game consists of.
As soon as the first piece is put in place the tension starts to grow, along with the search for meaning. The construction begins to impose its own laws, laws that we cannot easily understand. A sort of silent dialogue arises between the form being built and the person playing, and this is what determines the path ahead. Looking, sensing, imagining, doing, undoing, interpreting, seeking, finding…
It is a game that invariably imposes on us a poetic form of behavior, one that cannot be expressed in words. Artistic activity is the natural principle of every game, and randomness, surprise, skill, risk, beauty, emotion, the allure of strangeness, encounters with the unknown – all of these are natural elements of the most primordial and exciting activity that we can partake in: play.
The rules of this game are not written; the game itself dictates them in an open yet subtle way. When we put a new piece in place it is the set that tells us if it makes sense or not. We must be both attentive and unprejudiced to learn to see, to try to interpret what the set is telling us. The laws of harmony cannot always be deciphered. It may depend on us, on the sincerity with which we look, know and see. Children may well be able to teach us to play this game better than any master.
The novelty of this magnetic Tangram is that it works with a third dimension and includes a new element: the need to strike a balance between the 7 pieces. The attraction between the tans (tangram pieces) is what ultimately sustains the figures and makes their handling so rewarding. As a result the upright figures can be seen and enjoyed from any perspective.
Could these trunks have once belonged to a cherry tree, with its shimmering red leaves? Or to an elegant birch tree, nestled close to a mountain stream? In either case, happy little creatures would have been found skittering about under their branches, which would have undoubtedly provided shade for more than one weary, long-forgotten traveler.
Ladders are the symbol of paradise lost, of that unattainable paradise. They seduce us because with them we can climb to the heights, much as we did in our previous life as primates. Climbing, forever upwards: it seems an aspiration in itself. Fruit, hanging from branches that are out of reach.
The vertex, the common point at which two lines converge – or diverge – , is a primordial element in the graphic representation of all kinds of phenomena. It is first and foremost a graphic symbol, one that in its essence is the synthesis of an event. It marks the point where a road separates, where two rivers come together, where one plane ends and another begins, a change of direction, a fold, a dilemma posed by two possibilities, the branching out of growth and evolution, the cross-linking of a plane, the planar deconstruction of a volume, an itinerary for logical reasoning, computational structure, algorhythmic formulation…