Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sony Diaries #944: split-rail fences and Wabi-sabi

Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered - and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks of time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all transient beings on this planet - that our bodies as well as the natural world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.
Wabi-sabi is underplayed and modest, the kind of quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. It's a fragmentary glimpse: the branch representing the entire tree, shoji screens filtering the sun, the moon 90 percent obscured behind a ribbon of cloud. It's a richly mellow beauty that's striking but not obvious, that you can imagine having around you for a long, long time… it's the difference between 'pretty' and the 'interestingness that kicks something into the realm of beautiful'… it's the peace found in a moss garden, the musty smell of geraniums, the astringent taste of powdered green tea".
- architect Tadao Ando

No comments:

Post a Comment