As science and art are further developed, their foundations and  bases are regarded as more important. The development of science and art creates the subdivision of their genres. The more precisely the subdivision proceeds, the more the importance is recognized in their interdisciplinary natures.

Therefore, in the today's specialized education, we observe not only the developments of vertically divided genres, similar to the classification seen in the chair system of the old university system, but also observe them from a vertical cross section in all fields. "Kohsei" in Japanese, or "Basic Art and Basic Design" in English, is one of the specialized fields which has such a feature. In other words, the existing specialized genres and the majors in the education systems and others are classified by dimensions and materials (fine art = Western paintings, Japanese paintings, carvings and sculptures, and so on), and the sort of occupations in industry (designs = graphic  design, product design, interior design, construction design, and so on). "KOHSEI (Basic Art & Design)" is a basic and important factor which is commonly contained in each of those genres, and we research and teach it.

The concrete elements of it are shapes, colors, materials, compositions, ideas, etc., because they are fundamental and commonly contained in each genre of art and design. These research projects range from simple to high level and difficult.

Because this is a book about "two-dimensional KOHSEI", it deals with issues related to two-dimensional KOHSEI as described above. If it were to include issues on colors, the areas to be covered would be too large. Thus, most of them are excluded except those things which are necessary to track the logical steps in this book. The pages saved for that were assigned to "shapes", "compositions", "ideas",  technique on two-dimensional art and design, and effects of materials, and were further enriched. Efforts have been made to expand and deepen the range of "two-dimensional KOHSEI" which has been used. Therefore, there are parts where the problems were deeply discussed to obtain answers, and some parts may seem a bit difficult for beginners. Some people think that the words "two-dimensional KOHSEI" or "KOHSEI" are related to something in general, and (only) fundamental and basic art and basic design are treated by them. However, based on a thought that "KOHSEI" is one of the special fields, the contents of this book deal not only with basic problems but also notably higher level problems, although "KOHSEI" is related to the basics of art and the basics of design. Then, the KOHSEI will gradually become deeper and more extensive due to the accumulation of such researches.

Another feature of this book is that it focuses on the language of art and design, its grammar, and the way of using it. We are living and performing activities in the space of three dimensions. There are significant difficulties when these things are expressed in two-dimensional space, that is, on a screen. Thus, we are forced to use special methods of art and design.

For example, if it is an expression in three-dimensional space, an object can be moved, and a solid shape can be created as a substance just as we imagine. However, in order to express things in two-dimensional space, we have to "draw" them on a flat screen. Since these things can not actually move, we must consider how to visually produce a feeling of movement to observers. This is referred to as "movement" or "a feeling of movement". Similarly, since a solid can not actually be created on a screen, we have to visually produce a drawing that makes us feel a "cubic effect" on the screen. In other words, special ideas for drawing are needed.

September 22, 1997
Naomi Asakura