A stack of books also appear as a building and place for people to read with a tree branch growing from the top covers

All images © Yau Hoong Tang, shared with permission

In Negative Space, Yau Hoong Tang derives imaginative and expansive storylines from minimal visuals. As its name suggests, the ongoing series plays with the relationship between presence and absence, layering optical illusions, embedded imagery, and other narrative cues within a single work.

The Kuala Lumpur-based illustrator is fond of weaving together several plots. In one work, an ink splatter also becomes wildlife inhabiting the world, with in another, a creature appears as a flying goose or a fox depending on where the viewer focuses. “I love using negative space in my illustrations as it creates more dynamics to an artwork and opens up a visual conversation,” he tells Colossal. “Its thought provoking nature invites viewers to discover the hidden meanings and spark imagination.”

While Negative Space is created digitally, Tang is currently working on a new collection that returns to more traditional, analog mediums. Shop limited-edition prints, and find more of his playful illustrations on Behance and Instagram.


An ink splatter also appears as wildlife inhabit a round world

A flying bird also appears as a child flying paper airplanes

An overturned bottle also appears as a man climbing a mountain

Left, a building disintegrates into birds, on right, three guitars form four bird figures when overlapped

A fox face that also could be a goose flying

A cityscape nestles in the top of a leaf

Four images, a person wearing headphones with a guitar player sitting on one earphone, two giraffes at sunset, an infinity sign with camels in the lower left corner, a fedora with a band that also has a figure embedded in it

hands in tan and black that all appear to be grabbing for money

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Playful Illustrations by Yau Hoong Tang Layer Optical Illusions into Imaginative Stories appeared first on Colossal.


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