James Mai

Professor of Art
School of Art, Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois, USA

My recent work explores shape-partitions of a rhombus. Each shape-partition is a distinct combination of component shapes that envelop between 1 and 9 points within the rhombus. The complete set of shape-partitions for the rhombus-9 has 593 distinct forms in 30 partition groups ([8,1], [7,2], [7,1,1], [6,3], [6,2,1], [6,1,1,1]...). From this large set, I select subsets of forms for my compositions. I make decisions regarding color, scale, position, and orientation to reveal the multiple levels of order in the group of forms.

Yab-Yum (rhombic duals)
Yab-Yum (rhombic duals)
30 x 30 cm
Archival inkjet print

This composition shows the complete set of 18 shape-partitions with exactly two component shapes. Although the 18 forms are equally sized and evenly distributed, colors create four clusters of forms that correspond to their four partition groups. The partition groups [5,4] and [6,3] (top and bottom clusters, respectively) have 5 different shape arrangements; partition groups [8,1] and [7,2] (left and right clusters, respectively) have 4 different shape arrangements. Each partition group is denoted by a different pair of complementary colors.