• Jack Chen

Visual Language – “Secret Lives of Color” Podcast Review

In this podcast, the author of the book “Secret Lives of Color” Kassia St. Clair talks about stories throughout history about people’s relationship with color and ways colors have been produced.

Through her research, St. Clair demonstrated the important role of color in our lives, proven by humanity’s tireless attempts to discover and replicate certain colors whether through killing animals to near extinction to make pigments or rigorous scientific experiments to create a new shade of black.

St. Clair also demonstrated the social importance of color and their associations. Purple for example, being a rare pigment associate with royalty, was prohibited for commoners, who would be risking their lives if caught wearing the color in ancient times. Another interesting perspective is the different ways that societies can view color – something which is often assumed to be experienced in the same way by everyone. This is demonstrated by the fact that pink and blue are most often associated with female and male in modern culture, but just a bit more than a century ago, the association is reversed; The way different languages categorize colors is also evidence of the way different societies can experience colors.

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