rod clark
is creative

TG System

The Name

A tatami (畳) is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms.Tatami are made in standard sizes, with the length exactly twice the width, an aspect ratio of 2:1
The term tatami is derived from the verb tatamu (畳む), meaning to fold or pile. The name Tatamigram is derived from reference to the famous Tangram puzzle.

The Tatamigram Brand uses the Font 'Ali' by Philippe Apeloig.

Read my Artists Statement here

Titling of the Works

Works are identified by Number and Letter. The Number refers to the Shape used and the Letter following it is the colour/orientation version.

The letter P at the end of a Title means it is painted on Ply (either or both Painting Set 2 and 3).

The letters PO means print only. These designs allow for more detail than could be included in the standard 305 x 305mm painted format. It is possible that they could be painted at a larger scale (see 6 Acrylic on Board. 610 x 610mm below). Please contact me to discuss commissions.


Painting Set 1:  FSP Flush Ply Support
                            PTF Painted Tray Frame
                            DHDT Dark Hardwood Deep Tray
Painting Set 2:
  FSF Found Sheet Framed
Painting Set 3
:  P Ply
Painting Set 4
SM Single Board
Painting Set 5
:  MB Multi Board
Painting Set 6
:  610 (mm square)
Painting Set 7
:  TGT Tatamigram Tall
Painting Set 8:  TG F Tatamigram Flat

Print types:       TG D Double Tatamigram
                            TG L
Tatamigram Linear

The System

Tatamigrams are compositions made in a square with 4 Pieces; the 2x Quadrilaterals* and the 2x Right-angled Scalene Triangles generated by two cuts to a Tatami (double square): diagonally, and into two squares.

These Shapes form the basis of the system.

The figure, regardless of its shape, is held in a spatial balance within, and sometimes fortuitously to the very bounds, of the ground. The area of the figure is always 2/5 of the area of the ground. diag sq root of 5
A main proviso, or limitation, when composing the Shapes is that the parts have to be joined/anchored to each other - to create an overall shape, a gestalt, - and are not merely free-floating. This 'rule' is broken on occasion (TG 25) where pieces are only notionally joined - ie they meet at their points - and at others where the dispersal of the Shape within the square ground is equally important.

The resulting compositions are by turns architectural, typographic, icono/pictographic and abstract. Even the same work when rotated can display a different type of image.

As, in common with the original Tangram, there are hundreds of possible permutations of the 2x 2 Pieces and  the 27 colours in use. This means the Tatamigram system is a limitless resource to generate colourful forms and playful artworks. The addition of Patterns further extends these possibilities. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I have enjoyed their origination.

The viewer completes the work.

*(The Quadrilaterals contain 3 of the Triangles. Thus each Shape is made up of a total of 8 of the Triangles)

Painting Sets

2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67 | 8 | 9 | 10


See all

Design/ Shape Charts

Using Format