Sunday, September 14, 2008

What is Wabi-Sabi?

Let's start what it is not - a dipping sauce for sushi.

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic that embraces a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. The emphasis on subtle details, even if noticed only by vigilant viewers.

Less is more. The importance of small doses and looking closely. Having quiet authority without having to be the center of attention. Simplicity. Working with a limited palette and keeping features to a minimum.

Realize somethings "interestingness" has nothing to do with how complex it is.

It is the opposite of being monumental, spectacular, and enduring.

The simplicity of wabi-sabi is best described as the state of grace arrived at by a sober, modest, heartfelt intelligence.

In Japanese they have a phrase for describing it - "natsukashii furusato," or an old memory of my hometown.

It is a richly mellow beauty that sticks with you for a long, long time.

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