Heads up: the following videos and GIFs will definitely cause you to zone out and lose focus on whatever it is you're doing.
Ouka is an award-winning Japanese entertainer whose made a name for himself with magic tricks and diabolo performances (the latter of which you can see here), but his optical illusion work is what gets me, which he calls "Ringarts."
In collaboration with the brothers behind Kuma Films, a production company founded by "two dudes with a camera" who showcase people doing awesome things around the world, Ouka shows off his Ringarts skills, manipulating a series of rings that create mesmerizing illusions for your viewing pleasure.
Due to the atmospheric background music and unbelievable fluidity of Ouka's control of the rings, this video becomes completely hypnotizing. Throughout, Ouka uses a variety of ring sizes and shapes that he designed himself to create different optical illusions. As the number of rings grows, the illusions become more and more compelling.
Here he starts with individual, loose rings.
Then, he ups the ante by using the loose rings as two, seemingly-connected pairs.
If that wasn't enough to catch your eye, here's what happens when he went for the three-peat. It's crazy.
HOW DOES HE DO THAT?!
It's important to note that, while the illusions made with unbroken rings are impressive, they don't limit him. Ouka also creates illusions with yin yang-shaped rings. The S-shape of these tools allows him to create patterns that mimic waves, which gives him a lot more flexibility to be creative.
While the yin yang and figure eight rings are impressive, in my opinion, the most attention-grabbing illusion is the spinning, multi-sized rings. This trick blows my mind because the smallest inner ring, at times, appears to be floating in the air without being touched. I've watched this video so many times and I can't seem to figure out how he does it. Physics, man.
According to a video on Kuma Films' behind-the-scenes channel, Ouka's mesmerizing performance was filmed in a shrine, 15-20 minutes outside of Tokyo, Japan, in the freezing cold, which makes his skillful manipulation of the rings even more impressive.
Kuma Films also featured another illusionist, Ian Jenson, performing with the figure eight rings, as well as other illusion props (seen below), on their Vimeo channel. Be sure to check out Kuma Films' feed for other videos of people around the world doing cool stuff. You can also find their work on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
And don't worry. If you feel weird or embarrassed about how much these illusions surprised and confused you, this dog is just as perplexed as you are.
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