Friday, January 23, 2009

Wabi Sabi

I recently came across this book and it has opened up a whole new concept to me. The wabi-sabi aesthetic comes to us from ancient Japan. It is centered on the idea that nothing is permanent, nothing is perfect and nothing is ever finished. Wabi-sabi "occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West." Andrew Juniper claims, "if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi."

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and suggest a natural process.

When looking at actual wabi-sabi objects, I must admit, i don't like them very much. I do, however, LOVE the concept of findign beauty in the imperfect, the transient and the unfinished. 

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