Definition: Minimalism

Definition: Minimalism  | Glossary entry

Minimalism

The term Minimalism refers to a movement in art, design, photography and other visual arts. The main foundation of Minimalism is to eliminate all non-essential aspects of the work. Any part or component of the work which does not characterise the essence, form or identity of the subject is excluded.

Minimalism is a modern movement based on ancient principles. The movement is influenced by Japanese traditions, architecture and design among other ideas. It draws on religious traditions which sought to cleanse mind and body of temptation and impulsive influences and to seek purity.

In modern photography the movement has strong themes consistent with ‘de-cluttering’ images so that the theme can be emphasised by the strength of the main subject (or object) of the picture. Essentially, a minimalist photographer will try to exclude anything that interferes with the message of the image or distracts the viewer from that message. The theme is often continued in post-processing of the shot where un-necessary elements may be removed using an image editor.

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