What is the appeal of color psychology?
Interview with Ao Suenaga, who has been researching for over 50 years
Aoi Suenaga during an interview at Daikanyama MONKEYCAFE
How was color psychology born?
Color psychology is the result of the fusion of color theory and psychology. As for the background and needs behind the birth of color psychology, there are two easy-to-understand research examples from the mid- 20th century, and interestingly, both were published in the same year, 1947 . One is the ``color test'' psychology of Swiss psychologist Max Lüscher, and the other is ``Painting and Personality'' ( Japanese translation ``Children's Paintings and Personality'' ) by Alshuula and Hatwick, which was published in the United States. These developments had a major impact on Japan, leading to a variety of research and practice in fields such as medical practice, art education, and psychological counseling. I myself belonged to the Japan Children's Art Study Group from the 1960s to around 1980 and engaged in joint research.
ROOTOTE designer who developed airo with Aoi Suenaga
When you release your emotions through color, your latent talent will blossom.
In modern society, stress is associated with all kinds of problems. A major theme is how we can effectively deal with this stress. Even in the workplace, if you are under a lot of stress, I think it may be difficult to demonstrate your abilities. Color is directly connected to emotions, sensitivity, sensations, and unconsciousness. Through color expression, we can find a psychological balance while feeling ourselves, control our emotions, and harmonize ourselves, which leads to stress relief. Our method of art therapy is to use color to prepare ourselves.
“Children’s Atelier Artland”
For example, when I look at the changes in the drawings of children with intellectual disabilities who attend my ``Children's Atelier'', I can see that as the children's creativity is released, their emotional richness becomes vivid colors. It was expressed. In addition, their intellectual abilities will blossom one after another. They produced wonderful creative works in a place of unconditional freedom of expression. As a result, they have shown amazing growth in terms of learning. The child's art experiences from the age of six to his mid -teens taught him how free creative acts can enhance a person's potential. Through this practice, I learned that care through color psychology can limitlessly expand human potential. This valuable experience became the starting point for me to experience the effects of art therapy regardless of age, gender, or disability.
A leap in the expressive power of children with intellectual disabilities from 6 years old to 1 to 4 years old
Color communication felt through travel and encounters
In my case, no matter what theme I am interested in, I always have the question, ``What is a human being ? '' and even when I think about colors or art, I end up thinking about ``human beings, including myself.'' I feel like I'm searching for the mystery of existence. The view of humanity that emerged in my mind is that ever since humans had minds, we have always lived with the intention of realizing ourselves. Therein lies both human suffering and happiness, and I believe that this is the decisive difference between humans and other animals.
A book by Aoi Suenaga, who has conducted and published color fieldwork in countries such as Central and South America, Asia, and Europe (planning and editing: Yasuko Ezaki)
While actually doing fieldwork on overseas cultures of color, I was able to feel the energy of the local people trying to live their own lives through their culture and history, and I was able to resonate with their expressions. Perhaps the best part of color communication is being able to feel the energy of our hearts transcending time, space and race. In that sense, for me, interacting with Mayan people through the colors of Mayan civilization and sensing their spirit through children's drawings are exactly the same thing. It is a moment when the souls of each human being come and go through the passage of color. I believe that this is how humans have lived since ancient times, making full use of the language of color and feeling the power of color to increase vitality.
“Participatory collaborative design” incorporating color workshops
I think color is a field that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age, gender, or race, without special skills or knowledge. Enjoying colors through interior design, fashion, and various designs in daily life can give you the same pleasure as drawing a picture. Safely reflecting the workings of the mind, which are important to human nature, such as emotions, desires, and emotions from the subconscious mind, is a dialogue with oneself, and at the same time, it is digesting and circulating emotions. We are also working on designs that take advantage of the properties of these colors. As part of this, we have been experimenting with having users participate in color workshops for each product before creating the image. It is a method called ``participatory collaborative design,'' in which we ask students to choose a color that suits them, and then compare this with statistical color psychology, while still respecting their individual needs.
Color design for Atelier Kids, a children's clothing brand launched by Aoi Suenaga and Yasuko Ezaki's Heart & Color Design Unit
In this way, the color psychology method opens up a way for designs to be created based on user needs and through user participation. Here, users are not only passive consumers, but also participate in the creation together as expressors.
The exterior and interior of an elderly care facility designed by the Heart & Color Design Unit of Aoi Suenaga and Yasuko Ezaki
About airo = my color "a color that makes me feel, a design that liberates me" devised by a ROOTOTE designer who studied color psychology
You all want to feel me. I'm the only one in this world. I think there are a lot of people who are overwhelmed with information and have a hard time getting a feel for me. Painters live long lives because they use color to feel themselves every day. It would be fun if you could feel myself every day through familiar colors.
Airo image cut taken at Lake Tazawa in Akita Prefecture (model / freelance announcer Shiori Aiba)
Profile of Mr. Aoi Suenaga
Color psychology researcher/artist
Heart & Color Co., Ltd. / Co-representative of “Color School” and “International Art Therapy Color Psychology Association”
Founder of "Children's Atelier Artland"
Representative of “Suenaga Method Color Psychology Research Institute”
Her books include ``The World of Color Psychology'' ( PHP ), ``Answers are in Children's Drawings'' (Kodansha), and her latest book ``Understanding Paintings from Colors - Art Therapy for Painters'' (co-authored with Yasuko Ezaki, Aki Shobo).