Escher painting, different perceptions and strategic insights

This unique and insightful painting by Dutch artist M.C. Escher titled “day and Night” makes viewers to stretch out their normal range of perception. This artwork, at a glance, shows the same landscape during the day(on left) and at night(at right) However, when one moves the eyes from left to the right, the broad swathes of light transforms themselves in to white swans fling in to the night landscape of the right. Then, when one looks back at the left(or even when one first looks at the landscape in daylight, if viewed carefully) there are black swans flying in to the sunlit landscape in the left. In other words,the day landscape transforms in to the swans flying at night while the night landscape transforms in to the flock of black swans fling in to the landscape of the daytime.
This painting has, in one unique stroke, has been able to show and transform our own perceptions of day and night, light and darkness, the background in the panting and subjects in to a new way of looking and understanding. However, the salient point behind this painting is the understanding that one exists with the other, transforming each other in relation to each other and according to your way of looking at it, from your point of viewing and that there can be opposites in relation to each other and in connection to one another only.
The most important point that has come to my understanding in musing over this unique creation of art is that when one looks at the interplay between the black and white is that each needs the other(or the seeming opposite) for its own sake, and can be seen within the context of the seeming opposite element and in a dynamic relationship that transforms each other too.
This type of art works that helps minds to stretch beyond their normal perceptions are a great help in understanding several of the key strategic concepts.
Some of these are:
• The use of the ordinary and extraordinary
• The use of the direct and indirect tactics
• The inter-relationship between the offensive and the defensive
• The interplay of advances and retreats
• The slow approach and the fast attack
• The straight and circuitous

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Jagath Gunawardana Attorney-at-law
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