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  • Writer's pictureAtchareeya Jattuporn

Exposing ROY : Color Illusion

Recently, I watched this optical illusion video from Zach King

The video is about the color illusion that tricks our brain. After watching it, I started to question my visual perception of the color. I wonder how can I know that the red color I've seen is similar to what others are seeing or even how do I know that I'm really not color blind? (I've taken a test, the result is normal)

Photo from Netflix tv series ‘Abstract: Olafur Eliasson’

In the different lighting environments, we also perceive color in a different way. For example, if we are under monochromatic light, we will only see color in greyscale. In fact, the color is just a light bouncing from the surface of the object into our eyes. Then our brain will process the transmitted data from our eye into the color. So, actually, the color we've seen might not be real, if we are under different light circumstances, we'll perceive different colors from the same object.

Photo from How Do We See Color? by Pantone

Also, the color we've seen might only be true to humans. If we have a different structure in our eye we will perceive color differently.

I didn't have a good answer to which color is real because I can't possess others to see their vision. Maybe, we might see a slightly different red but we all agree that this is red. So, maybe the color is just an agreement we all have together, for example, we are all agree that the apple is red. We can't tell that color-blind people are perceiving the wrong color, they just perceive the color uncommonly compare to the majority of the people. But who knows that might be the real color.

Sometimes, we also associated meaning and feeling with a color. In different cultures, color also has a different meaning. Sometimes it was being used as a symbol. For example, in Thailand, my home country, yellow is associated with royalist and conservatism while red is associated with liberalism pro-democracy. (this analogy is also not accurate bases on this research) People from the different side perceive the opposite side as a dump or blackguard. Their visual perception is very high contrast, so they can only see black and white but not grey. Because of the high contrast visual, sometimes they feel delightful if the opposite, pure black, is being destroyed. People can be hateful just by seeing the color of the other's shirt.

I don't know why the thing that we're not even sure what is the real color can have such a strong power that affects society and humans' minds. Maybe, if we do not rely on our eyes and shifted to our ears and our hearts, by listening and being open-minded, we might be able to see the greyish color in ourselves and others. Maybe that's when we see the true color.



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