Illustrations that you can touch by Masahiko Sato and Tatsuya Saito

In the ongoing debate about the merits of print versus digital media, one assumption is rarely questioned: graphics on paper are static, and less immersive than interactive media. But Masahiko Sato and Tatsuya Saito want to prove the exact opposite in their exhibition “Putting Finger” at DDD gallery in Osaka.

The two visual designer have a radical message: they want their audience to understand that watching TV, playing video games or browsing the web are activities that are usually performed while forgetting one’s own body. Illustrations, on the other hand, are exclusively consumed in the material world. And by touching an illustration, instead of staring at a screen, viewers can connect with the physical world.

To prove this, the designers created a series of printed illustrations containing empty spaces for the viewer’s fingers. After placing one’s index or thumbs in them, the graphic suddenly feels like it includes the viewer as a part of the scene, and the image takes a whole new meaning. The feeling that the printed image changes and interacts with the viewer is at the core of the Putting Finger exhibition experience.

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This subtle trick is hard to reproduce with pictures on a screen, so if you are in the area, you should head to the exhibition at DDD in Osaka and touch the graphics yourself.

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