How do you play Tangram?
Tangram is no ordinary puzzle. The placement of the ‘tans’ and the observation of the figures come together to confer an aura of enigma and magic to the game, giving the Tangram its own special place in the world of puzzles and riddles. The possibilities that it provides for our imagination are virtually infinite. Much like when we put together a collage, the individual pieces of a Tangram lose their identity and appear before our eyes, magically, as part of a new form.
The puzzle is made up of seven flat, geometric pieces resulting from the dissection of a square. Each one of these pieces is called a ‘tan’ (part, in Chinese). There are 2 large triangles, 1 medium-sized triangle, 2 small triangles, a square and a rhomboid.
How is it that the partition of a square in 7 parts – these 7 in particular – can yield such a vast array of fascinating, evocative figures? We have yet to come up with an answer, despite our search in specialized publications and web sites; perhaps the question would best be put to a mathematician.
Is it an inanimate object or is there something in it that gives it life? Could it be that he reminds us of the messenger boy, the newspaper vendor, the shoeshine or the apprentice of any number of jobs – one who depends on his arms and legs to carry out these menial jobs in order to scrape by? Where does our sympathy for an object come from? Where do our emotions spring from -weak and subtle as they may be – where if not from the emotions of life itself and the spirit that animates it?
The tightrope walker balances over the precipice, risking life and limb as he walks over the thinnest of threads. They are not actors; rather, they relive what is essentially their life away from the wire. We are all tightrope walkers, though some more than others. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all balanced on the edge. That is what they are trying to tell us.
3 Models to choose:
- Wooden case lined paper: 15 chairs / 29 chairs
- Small packaging 15 chairs
These are chairs that can be piled up, stacked, left scattered on the floor or grouped into random shapes of difficult equilibrium. But whatever we do with them, this game lets us play with the most primitive rules, those of a child trying to challenge himself and to dare balance itself by stacking objects using the freest of artistic expression.
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.