I have been enjoying reading the book Wabi-Sabi, (Japanese philosophy) that my friend Lance has given me over the years. I love going back to it every several months. Wabi-sabi is a concept drawn directly from Buddhist philosophy, based on contemplation of nature with its continuous cycle of birth, growth, decay and death… An idea entirely opposite to European aesthetic shaped by ancient Greek ideals of symmetry and perfect, mathematically calculated proportions. Wabi-sabi aesthetic are intuitive rather than intellectual, described by presence of natural processes and intimate atmosphere, simplicity, modesty, asymmetry and asperity.
Weekend Inspiration6 02 2011
“Wabi is the beauty that springs from the creative energy that flows in all things, animate or not. It is a beauty that, like nature itself, can appear with dark and light, sad and joyful, rough and gentle”
Axel Vervoordt, an interior decorator and art collector, applied wabi-sabi aesthetics while renovating his magnificent medieval castle of van ‘s-Gravenwezel. The twelfth-century building, with its bare rooms, worn-out walls and peeling paint, became a perfect canvas for creating new, harmonious and relaxing atmosphere: “Wabi interacts with interiors in a perfect manner, giving them depth and intelligence.”
Beauty of imperfection… the quintessence of Japanese aesthetic. Ephemeral and incomplete, undeclared, almost unnoticeable. The kind of humble beauty that can be seen only in a balanced, quiet state of mind.
Wabi-sabi can not be perceived as a decorating style but rather as a state of mind that creates certain atmosphere. It is a way of living, harmonious minimalism, the art of eliminating the unnecessary and touching the essential. Japanese architect Tadao Ando, in his study of wabi-sabi wrote: “…interiors tend to be muted, dimly lit, and shadowy-giving the rooms an enveloping, womb like feeling. Natural materials that are vulnerable to weathering, warping, shrinking, cracking, and peeling lend an air of perish-ability. The palette is drawn from browns, blacks, grays, earthy greens, and rusts.”
All images via Marie Claire Maison.
Wishing you a lovely Sunday.