Master Of Animation, Games & Interactivity
Master Of Animation, Games & Interactivity


The theme of this week is Play and Abstraction . As for abstraction, I think it is a very interesting concept. Abtraction is a process that starts from perceptual knowledge, extracts common ground, removes different contents and connections through analysis and comparison, and obtains simple and basic provisions through synthesis. There have been many works of abstraction from ancient times to the present, such as Joan Miro's Harlequin's “Harlequin's Carnival” And “Catalan Landscape”. The contents of these works are conceptual images extracted from reality. They can put aside the bondage of physical form and light and shadow in reality, but vividly express the viewpoints from the author through concise lines and bright colors. However, in my opinion, this process of abstraction is positive. What I want to explore is whether people can accurately restore the appearance of anobject if some abstracted concepts are given. If not, how much is the difference between the restored object and the original object?


This time I chose a simple game form like a reverse version of “Draw Something”. The reason is that I saw there are some tags corresponding with the clothes on Taobao, these tags are more abstract, such as "Street style", "Romance" and "Vintage" and so on, when you enter a few tags, the big data will help you to screen for the clothes you want to look for, and those clothes almost can meet your original idea. Therefore, I would like to try to restore the original appearance of some clothes by painting if some abstract tag are provided.


In order to ensure the fairness of the game, I asked my friend to help me finish the game. My friend studies costume design, so I think she can better describe the visual feeling a dress brings to her. So first I asked her to pick three at random out of all her clothes and describe them in some abstract tag. Then I got the following tags.

1. Youth, Bright, Campus

2. Marshmallow, Girl style, Strong

3. Oil painting, Romantic, Choppy

Then I used the labels I got to draw the images of the three clothes in my mind, and finally compared my results with her clothes.


I have to say that there is a big gap between the final result and my imagination. I thought I could guess her idea very well, because we are good friends and have known each other for many years. However, I have to say that everyone has a big difference in the understanding of words after abstraction. For example, the tag of the second piece, I think " Marshmallow " refers to the appearance of the clothes, "Girl style" refers to the style, and "Strong" refers to the color, so I immediately think of the "furry" coat, which was popular last year. But what she's trying to say is "Marshmallow" is the color, "Girl style" is the decoration on the clothes and "Strong" is the the shape of the clothes. So I don't know what my final conclusion is. I think I can only say that everyone has different abstract definitions of objects. Maybe this is the reason why abstract paintings or some abstract works bring us different feelings.


Joan Miro, "Harlequin's Carnival", "Catalan Landscape"

OMGPOP (Draw Something), Zynga (Zynga), February 2012, producer Dan Porter.

About This Work

By Rui Liu
Email Rui Liu
Published On: 30/04/2021