I’ve been studying the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi.
“Wabi” refers to the serenity that comes from unfastening oneself from society and its search for wealth and status. It is the beauty and pleasure (even if bitter-sweet) of solitude, often found in nature.
“Sabi” refers to the majestic veneer that the passage of time lends to people and objects. It asserts that while time affects people no less than it does objects, the essence of both remains the same.
As an aesthetic and a worldview, wabi-sabi celebrates imperfection.
The quintessential symbol and art form of wabi-sabi is the broken bowl, not discarded, but mended. Yet with no attempts to hide the cracks, instead highlighting the breakage points that are as unique as the fingers of a snowflake.
Wabi-sabi calls us to appreciate all things for their impermanence (not in spite of it). Wabi-sabi embraces anything that reminds the viewer of the natural world. Flaws and imperfections are good. Small-scale and artless is beautiful. Aging is life, beautiful life. Anything natural and unselfconscious is worth celebrating.
This month, we explore the theme of wabi-sabi, and seek together the unique beauty in what was once broken.