The Japanese Aesthetics of
The perfection in the imperfection of things.
Within the incomplete and impermanence, there is beauty.
Nature, art, life.
I am drawn to and inspired by the unpretentious simplicity of nature in my art. There seems to be an innate perfection in materials from the earth -- a stone rounded by river water, pine needles scattered across the forest floor after a storm, a wayward seagull feather. Things we may overlook in our busy days, considered mundane, often invisible.
Wabi sabi is linked to seasons and nature. It is elegant and refined in its simplicity, much like Japanese haiku. It honors not the perfect, static or ideal art forms and materials, but instead the organic, earthy objects in their natural evolving process. There is no austere material hierarchy in wabi sabi, rather objects can be weathered and tarnished -- revealing their inherent nature in the passing of time and the life process. Metals corrode and turn rusty with age; other surfaces peel, warp and stain from the changing seasons. Objects crack, and become worn by dents and scratches. There is an intrinsic value of wabi sabi materials and art -- in a way honoring every drop of rain, ray of sunlight, gust of wind, and every hand that touched it.
Wabi sabi has a sense of ambiguity, incompleteness, and impermanence. Within this perspective, there is perhaps a pathway of viewing life itself -- the inspiration to pause and reflect on nature and the natural process.
There is a preciousness of being aware of simple things, time passing, fleeting moments.
This is the way of the Japanese aesthetics of wabi sabi.
All photos by N.K. Lee