Wabi-sabi is a stylistic concept and theory that is best understood in terms of the Zen tradition that, over the last thousand years, has nurtured and shaped its creation. Zen attempts artistic expression in ways as pure and sacred as the Zen teachings they manifest; it rejects intellectualism yet pretense and instead strives to uncover and picture the simplicity created by nature's flows.
Wabi-sabi represents the cosmic Zen nihilist view and seeks beauty in the flaws found as all things evolve from nothing in a constant state of flux, and return to nothingness. Within this never-ending movement, nature leaves for us to contemplate arbitrary tracks, and it is these random flaws and irregularities that offer a model for the modest and humble expression of elegance in wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi's practice, firmly rooted in Zen philosophy, utilizes the evanescence of life to express the feeling of haunting beauty provided by such an interpretation.
The Zen monks combined the worlds of art and philosophy as early as the thirteenth century into a symbiotic whole where the two functions and goals became almost indivisible. Since then, Japanese culture has been an unstoppable creative force rivaling any other country's influence on world culture and art. For a nation one-thirtieth the size of the United States, the scope of its distinctions–in almost any field of the arts–is quite astounding.
The term wabi-sabi indicates impermanence, humility, asymmetry, and imperfection. Such underlying principles are diametrically opposed to those of their Western counterparts, whose beliefs are grounded in a Hellenic ethos that emphasizes longevity, grandeur, harmony and beauty.
Infused with the philosophy of wabi-sabi, Japanese sculpture finds meaning in the realities of the natural world, searching for its motivation against nature.
Wabi-Sabi is an acknowledgement of the defects which form an integral part of nature.
In this book, get ready to learn about:
Wabi-sabi art and cultureHumility and modestyThe history of the Zen practices that led to Wabi-sabiAppreciating the littlest of thingsAppreciating flaws and specifically creating themJapanese culture and their beliefs regarding Wabi-sabi
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