Empty space in an artwork, a void.That's the usual definition.To some people, this term suggests unpleasant things. Sometimes when we say "negative" we mean "bad."Both "space" and "emptiness" suggest a lack, a shortage of something. This is unfortunate. The concept of negative space is one that deserves to be highly prized. In Japanese art tradition, what we call negative space is called ma. Relevant in every Japanese art form, from sumi-e to ikebana, ma is considered a particularly valuable sort of space, not seen as negative or empty.