click on the image to animate from neutral facial expression





  • Book of Changes, first semantic lexicon

    Semanticus F. Alpaerts suggests in De Denkbeeldige Ruimte (1980) that the I Ching or Book of Changes, originating from mythical antiquity, is the first semantic lexicon of mankind. In this Chinese classic, unquestionably one of the most influential books in the world’s literature, 64 chapters are coded with a double triplet line code called hexagrams.

    Alpaerts used the Wilhelm (1971) translation to show a possible connection between the code lines from the I Ching and the codon encoding in the Semantic Colour Space. The open (- -) and closed (—) lines from the I Ching correspond with respectively the 0’s and 1’s from his semantic coding system. This way he could associate the concepts described in the 64 chapters of the I Ching, with the eight primary colours and their combinations (8×8) from his classification. Later, his hypothesis was confirmed by a comparative research he conducted on the similarities between his keyword-colour classifications, in which the concepts from the I Ching form an important part, and the empirical data from sociologist Eva Heller’s word-to-colour association study (Alpaerts, 1993).

    The following list includes I Ching chapter titles with links to pages in the DSD (between brackets: if the title is not in the DSD, a synonym), chapter numbers, digital coding (hexagram), and colour combinations.

    chapter titlechaptershexagramcolour combination
    creative heaven1111:111YL:YL
    the receptive2000:000BL:BL
    difficulty at the beginning3010:001GR:BK
    youthful folly (inexperienced, foolish)4100:010BR:GR
    the fight6111:010YL:GR
    the army7000:010BL:GR
    the all-encompassing8010:000GR:BL
    the taming power of the small (newborn)9110:111WH:YL
    standstill (stagnation, blocking)12111:000YL:BL
    fellowship with men (together, community)13111:101YL:RD
    great possessing (imperium)14101:111RD:YL
    rage (rancor, attack)16001:000BK:BL
    correcting (addressing)18100:110BR:WH
    nearing, rapprochement19000:011BL:PL
    viewing (perception)20110:000WH:BL
    biting through (stick-it-out)21101:001RD:BK
    adorning (embellish)22100:101BR:RD
    splitting apart (slivering)23100:000BR:BL
    the turning point24000:001BL:BK
    the taming power of the great (steering)26100:111BR:YL
    the corners of the mouth, providing nourishment (feeding, grooming, open mouth)27100:001BR:BK
    great exceeding (overloaded)28011:110PL:WH
    the abyss29010:010GR:GR
    the clinging, fire (flame, attach)30101:101RD:RD
    influence, wooing (courtship)31011:100PL:BR
    duration, constancy32001:110BK:WH
    the power of the great (powerful)34001:111BK:YL
    darkening of the Light (hiding)36000:101BL:RD
    polarising (contrasts)38101:011RD:PL
    increase, beneficial, useful (growth, functional)42110:001WH:BK
    resoluteness, determination43011:111PL:YL
    gathering together, massing (assemble)45011:000PL:BL
    pushing upward46000:110BL:WH
    oppression, exhaustion (depletion, sucked out)47011:010PL:GR
    the well48010:110GR:WH
    revolution, moulting49011:101PL:RD
    the cauldron (terrine)50101:110RD:WH
    the arousing, shock, thunder51001:001BK:BK
    keeping still, mountain (still, not moving)52100:100BR:BR
    development, gradual progress53110:100WH:BR
    the marrying maiden (concubine)54001:011BK:PL
    abundance, fullness55001:101BK:RD
    the wanderer, travelling (wanderlust)56101:100RD:BR
    the penetrating, wind57110:110WH:WH
    the joyous, lake (gay)58011:011PL:PL
    dispersion, dissolution, (scattering)59110:010WH:GR
    limitation, moderation (delimitation, restriction)60010:011GR:PL
    inner truth61110:011WH:PL
    preponderance of the small (unremarkable, incompetent)62001:100BK:BR
    after completion63010:101GR:RD
    before completion64101:010RD:GR
  • ‘Businesslike’ and colour in Germany

    Businesslike: white 27%, grey 22%, blue 20%, black 15%, …
    Heller (1989)

  • Past and future in shape

    Angularity, as with a square stone, is a characteristic of the past versus roundness, the wheel, as a symbol of the future.

    The modernist architecture of the last century (1930-1960) was an architectural movement or architectural style based upon a functionalist idea with an embrace of minimalism and a rejection of ornament. The use of round shapes was a style characteristic. It was a radical break with the past and a view to the future.

    Bestand:De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill.jpg

    De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill. 1935, Architect/Designer: Mendelsohn & Chermayeff. Source: http://flickr.com/photo/53921762@N00/1986171763

    In images depicting the future, futuristic planes etc. the artists show a preference for round shapes.


    Artist Tim Hildebrandt painted the rounded buildings of his future city yellow. Underneath the future he draws the angular past in a roman temple architecture. The man in the foreground points to the right, where the future lies.

    (Michiels, I. editorial)