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A Brain Game To Change Your Perception- Inside Out Beauty
Ep 81: Butterfly Brain Games~ Beauty in a Game of Chance
In our Anniversary Podcast Special, we celebrate beauty with a game. I created Butterfly Brain Games as a companion to this podcast where we entertain alternative ideas about what is beautiful. In this game, I hope you find the answers to the question that inspired it all. What is the science of beauty? Beauty, a philosophy, hidden in the art of expression. A story that we write about ourselves, with images etched on the canvas of our minds. An abstraction displaying both random and intelligent design.
A Game of Expression and Abstraction
& A Story About Self-Love and Loathing
My fascination with the realm of the imagination as a dermatologist began with my observations of body dysmorphophobia. In this case, sufferers experience horror and self-loathing in a purely imaginary way – yet it is so real it manifests with concrete reactions like continual body-modification attempts with plastic surgery and persistent depression or even suicide.
Body dysmorphobia is a classic example of imaginations gone wrong. Sufferers see a distorted vision of themselves, that is no longer consistent with reality. Yet, there is a way we can try to perceive this condition: their distorted vision of themselves directly mirrors their self-image – which is a product of their thoughts, emotions and their personalities.
Dissatisfaction with physical appearances
Unsurprisingly, most of us can identify with self-loathing, at least at some point of time in our lives. To consider that in today’s world, dissatisfaction with physical appearances can be addressed with physicians who offer you a “fix”- plastic surgery can fix a broken nose but can it fix broken perceptions?
That also brings to mind the aphorism Physician Heal Thyself- except that we give a platform only to those we choose. In this game, you do your own bidding, and not that of others. You are confronted with choices, but also the haphazard continuity of your thoughts. Yet, somehow in a surreal world, you manage to create a thing of beauty- with broken pieces & a game of chance.
This sensory game provides a novel intersection point for our thoughts, emotions, imaginations lit up on the background of self-perception, embodied by the dark, somewhat monotonous, yet continually evolving iterations of a black mannequin.
Beauty is an abstract experience involving complex neuroscience pathways affecting the mind and emotions, Shaped by our personalities, and influenced by the intellect. Physical metrics judging beauty are arbitrary. Can one impart beauty like a skill? In a game of random chance, the roll of dice and shuffling of cards.
As the creator of Butterfly Brain Games, I am delighted to share my interpretation with you.
Come, let’s play a game. Create beauty with me, in an immersive sensory game reimagining the metamorphosis of a monarch butterfly.
Beauty, a Philosophy, hidden in Art of Expression
First, let us begin with a poem
No one took a second look at me
I was all of a fierce green brown and yellow
My body creeping on the ground
And up I went upon the thick green trunks
Alas upon a leaf I found my rest
There … I could feast!
So I ate and ate
One day I found myself too heavy
My lids too began to droop
Where would I find a place
Away from those monstrous winged creatures of the sky!
I wandered a little..
And there as if someone had known
Was a cocoon prepared right in front of me!
I crept into it just moments before I lost my last strength
And I fell asleep..
In my dream
There was a garden
A splash of vivid crimsons violets and sky blues
I saw the most brilliant creatures
Fluttering rainbow coloured wings
Of myriad hues and patterns
I was jealous !
Now if the brown yellow and green on me
Would just grow wings and fly!
It got colder and colder in the cocoon
And I fell into the deepest sleep
I would have thought
That I had died.
I found my body oh so stiff , as I cracked my bones
I realised I had aged.
Memories of my childhood came back to me
Without mother or father,
I learnt the ways of the garden
Alone on my own.
There I had also seen those beautiful wings
Of the heavenly creatures
I would never be
As I crawled on my belly.
My dreams ended one fateful day in that cocoon.
When I grew too tired and stiff to think.
I took a look at my body, it was a skeleton I could not recognise.
It became clear that I would no longer be the same, and there I breathed my last.
Before I bid thee adieu
Let me tell of a wonder
One bright morning
I stretched my paper- thin wings
I opened my eyes
And Lo ! They were yellow green and brown
My heart fluttered a little
Could this really be?
I lay still a while
Moving those wings
And then I soared.
Discover an Immersive Sketchbook of Masterpieces- Drawn By You
In this game, you are the artist and your mind is the canvas. Come, Draw, Paint and Play on 47 black and white portraits of a meditating metaverse mannequin.
A board game set inside a hardcover limited edition sketch book printed on specialty art paper. In this game, the canvas is also a game board culminating in one-of-a-kind abstract artwork showcasing surrealist techniques of hasard objectif. Played solo or in a group, it is a meditative audiovisual experience designed to bring beauty to your mind
While you play the game listen to the story of a 12 day metamorphosis of a Monarch Butterfly- starting with the humble beginnings of a lowly caterpillar, with feelings of envy and disappointment as it navigates the garden alone watching the beautiful fluttering creatures of the air. The journey into the cocoon is unexpected. Just at the moment of its physical death, its spirit comes alive and the poem ends with the beautiful transformation into a Monarch Butterfly.
Will you help to unlock the “Heart of Butterfly Beauty”?
Butterfly Brain Games is a sensory game of abstract strategy designed to light up your imagination.
Create art in a game of mind graffiti on chiaroscuro, butterfly brain games is a Right-Brain Exercise based on the science of neuroaesthetics, imagination therapy for stress-relief, negative emotions like anxiety and depression. The reverse coloring method on inverse images created on black printed paper stimulate visual-emotional-cognitive pathways in the brain, encouraging neuroplasticity.
Watch your worries fade away as you follow the path of a beautiful migrating Monarch Butterfly.
The contrast of light & dark special effects create a brilliant canvas for the use of bright colors to light up your mind. Additionally, experience relief from negative emotions such as anxiety, stress and depression with color and imagination therapy.
Surrealist Techniques Without Rules or Judgement, On Mixed Media
Use the brilliant colors of pastel to doodle, utilising automatic drawing and hasard objectif methods of the surrealists to create 47 beautiful self-portrait masterpieces. Splash on gouache, poster paints to elevate, add texture and dimension to your artwork.
Butterfly Brain Games: Beauty and Art in a Game
Beauty, a philosophy is hidden in the Art of Expression
The art book, the game and the course is a commentary on the true abstract nature of aesthetics, best defined not by beauty standards but as a philosophy.
Beauty is an experience engaging our intellectual and emotional faculties, experienced through imagination. As in our observations of natural phenomena, beauty displays both characteristics of random and intelligent design. At the heart of it, organic shapes, textures and dimensions built as an amalgamation of fractal subunits that appeal to the human imagination.
It is my statement against manufactured beauty ideals falsely based on the golden ratio, a bona fide hallmark of the force of intelligent design beyond nature. The science of beauty is not about aesthetic standards, rather it tells us that complex physiological pathways involving the mind, emotions, imaginations and individual personalities are responsible for human perception of the experience of beauty.
A Story Of Beauty
I’m Dr. Teo Wan Lin, a board-certified dermatologist from Singapore and the author of “On Thoughts, Emotions, Facial Expressions & Aging” published in the International Journal of Dermatology¹. I’m also the host of a beauty podcast on Spotify: Dermatologist Talks-Science of Beauty which focuses on alternative interpretations of aesthetics, based on philosophy and the science of neuroaesthetics, in a world of impossible beauty standards
As a researcher in the field of the Brain-Skin Connection, my special focus is on neuroaesthetics, the science of how the brain perceives beauty and the particular influence of art on the brain. I created this special art book and accompanying tabletop game based on a poem I wrote, entitled “METAMORPHOSIS”, chronicling the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The artwork is based on a commissioned 4-D Metaverse Mannequin, processed digitally with special chiaroscuro effects for a reverse coloring experience on black pages.
PHYGIART is my brainchild. My vision for it is as a master game-maker, or if you will tolerate word play, a master game-changer. in the world of beauty, PHYGIART brings alive right-brain visualisation games, with the mission to create beautiful minds. Explore phygital games utilising Imagination Therapy based on my published research on the brain-skin connection and the field of neuroaesthetics1. A companion to my podcast where I explore the neuroscience behind beauty perception and research linking thoughts, emotions and facial expressions with the aging face
1.Teo WL. On thoughts, emotions, facial expressions, and aging. Int J Dermatol. 2021 May;60(5):e200-e202. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15443. Epub 2021 Feb 9. PMID: 33559158
In this game, there are rules:
The GOAL of the Game is to help her enter the cocoon safely, by creating the: LARGEST AND HIGHEST TERRAIN TO REACH ITS COCOON.
“The cocoon must be suspended securely off the ground, looking down from above, in preparation for the caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly. The goal of the game is to build a stable elevated terrain, with no part of stacked tiles overhanging”
Embark on a poetic terrain building adventure, one of rhythm, dexterity and strategy.
At each turn, draw a card, and on the gameboard but remember the wise saying “Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still”, the gold rule of the game which must not be broken
The game is not timed. Played solo, the game is an immersive meditative experience. In a group, the final masterpiece is a unique keepsake that shows the intersection and dynamic flow relationships of individual personalities. Being quick, decisive or rather, thoughtful and hesitant, give rise to different expressions and imaginations.
The quicker the player decides placement of the tiles, the earlier they start to draw around it to gain more territory for their cocoon. However, in the early stages, the more thoughtful, strategic player can still gain more territory being slower than the others if they are able to recognise the opportunities. Finally, right at the end is a “SUDDEN DEATH”, DECISIVE MOMENT BEFORE THE METAMORPHOSIS
Butterfly Brain Games Allows for Infinite Variations
A game of art, poetry, rhythm, dexterity and strategy, it is limited only by your imagination. May you also learn to interpret beauty in its infinite dimensions, drawn in the mind’s eye
In a narrative game of art poetry and abstract strategy, create art in sensory play involving board games, poetry, automatic doodling (what I like to call mind graffiti) and mixed media painting on 47 pre-fabricated chiaroscuro portraits of a meditating metaverse mannequin. Designed for all skill levels, the pieces allow for expressive re-imaginations of a mixed-media self-portrait with automatic drawing/hasard objectif techniques borrowed from the surrealists.
A sensory audiovisual experience with an author-narrated inspiring poem takes the user through the mental and emotional journey of a monarch butterfly undergoing a 12-day metamorphosis, along with a how-to-use commentary guide.
An Artistic Experience for All Skill Levels, a Game of Poetry & Imagination
Create A Portfolio Keepsake of Self Portraits
Printed on specialty 200 GSM heavy weight acid-free art paper for mixed media use. Bound in a hardcover special edition with micro-perforations for easy tear out for framing your masterpieces. Also, create stunning group artwork as part of THE GAME (see below). The case-bound hardcover can also be used as a portfolio jacket to store and protect your masterpieces.
Enter the Cocoon: A Poetic Terrain-Building Game
Twenty playing cards with specially designed images of a caterpillar navigating different terrain paths guide a game of read-aloud poetry and tile-stacking. The goal is to create an elevated terrain, a vantage point of beauty.
THE SCIENCE OF BEAUTY
What is the science of beauty? Beauty- a philosophy, hidden in the art of expression. A story that we write about ourselves, with images etched on the canvas of our minds. An abstraction displaying both random and intelligent design. Discover a beauty podcast that focuses on alternative interpretations of aesthetics, based on philosophy and the science of neuroaesthetics, in a world of impossible beauty standards. _ -Dr.TWL
Stay tuned for Butterfly Brain Games, the beauty game to change minds and perceptions. Understand the art of self-love and self-loathing against the backdrop of chiaroscuro self-portraits.
Learn the art of microexpressions, subtle facial movements that show our almost authentic emotions, can bring out our most beautiful self.