Clever Negative Space Illusions

Beware of Those Hands

One of the toughest decisions one can make in their lives is to leave their steady job and follow their dreams. For Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based Yau Hoong Tang that hard decision came after a wonderful surprise. After graduating with an engineering degree, Tang could have easily pursued a more stable path. Design was just a hobby to him until, one day, he won an online t-shirt contest which gave him the confidence and courage to make a living at illustrating. He calls it “the biggest gamble” of his life so far.

For the past four years, he’s been creating illustrations that are filled with illusions, that have a surreal element to them and that often deal with negative space. (Negative space is the area of an image not occupied by shapes or forms and is often the part of the drawing that’s neglected. Negative space drawings involve concentrating on drawing the background, leaving the object white or empty. Noma Bar is a modern-day master at this.)

“I enjoy making illusion art because it has the ability to mislead us,” Tang tells us. “We rely on sight in our lives and yet it is so fragile that we could easily be deceived by what we see.”

Tang was kind enough to send us a sample of his finest work. Notice how you can get easily lost in his clever illustrations.

Neighborhood Irrigation Trap
Little Red Riding Hood

Sounds of Nature

Spock in the Spork


Guitar of the Sky


Found Anything Yet

In Flying Colours

Day vs Night

Ernest Hemingway

The Zebra’s Escape

Sky Aperture

So Long, Old World

In a Nostalgic Mood

Journey to the City of No Horizon

Sky Invader Peep Make sure to check out Tang Yau Hoong’s recently redone website and keep up with him on Facebook.

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