From the Introduction Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional. The immediate catalyst for this book was a widely publicized tea event in Japan. The Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi has long been associated with the tea ceremony, and ...
From the Introduction Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional. The immediate catalyst for this book was a widely publicized tea event in Japan. The Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi has long been associated with the tea ceremony, and this event promised to be a profound wabi-sabi experience. Hiroshi Teshigahara, the hereditary iemoto (grand master) of the Sogetsu school of flower arranging, had commissioned three of Japan's most famous and fashionable architects to design and build their conceptions of ceremonial tea-drinking environments. Teshigahara in addition would provide a fourth design. After a three-plus-hour train and bus ride from my office in Tokyo, I arrived at the event site, the grounds of an old imperial summer residence. To my dismay I found a celebration of gorgeousness, grandeur, and elegant play, but hardly a trace of wabi-sabi. One slick tea hut, ostensibly made of paper, looked and smelled like a big white plastic umbrella. Adjacent was a structure made of glass, steel, and wood that had all the intimacy of a highrise office building. The one tea house that approached the wabi-sabi qualities I had anticipated, upon closer inspection, was fussed up with gratuitous post- modern appendages. It suddenly dawned on me that wabi-sabi, once the preeminent high-culture Japanese aesthetic and the acknowledged centerpiece of tea, was becoming-had become?-an endangered species. Admittedly, the beauty of wabi-sabi is not to everyone's liking. But I believe it is in everyone's interest to prevent wabi-sabi from disappearing altogether. Diversity of the cultural ecology is a desirable state of affairs, especially in opposition to the accelerating trend toward the uniform digitalization of all sensory experience, wherein an electronic "reader" stands between experience and observation, and all manifestation is encoded identically. In Japan, however, unlike Europe and to a lesser extent America, precious little material culture has been saved. So in Japan, saving a universe of beauty from extinction means, at this late date, not merely preserving particul
Very Good- Trade Paperback. Very minor edge wear on the clean, sound binding. Flyleaf's upper fore corner is creased. Contents are almost like new.; 8-1/2" Tall, 95pp. Paper covers are reinforced by self-flaps. ART. "I first learned of wabi-sabi during my youthful spiritual quest in the late 1960s. At that time, the traditiional culture of Japan beckkoned with profound 'answers' to life's toughest questions. Wabi-sabi seemed to me a nature-based aesthetic paradigm that restored a measure of sanity and proportion to the art of living. Wabi-sabi resolved my artistic dilemma about how to create beautiful things without getting caught up in the dispiriting materialism that usually surrounds such creative acts. Wabi-sabi-deep, mullti-dimensiional, elusive-appeared the perfect antidote to the pervasively slick, saccharine, corporate style of beauty that I felt was desensitizng American society...The term 'wabi-sabi' makes a perfunctory appearance in practically every book and magazine article that discusses the tea ceremony or other arcane things Japanese...Perhaps now is an auspicious cultural moment to get beyond the standard definitiions, to dive a little more deeply into the murky depths. In this spirit I have searched for the various pieces of wabi-sabi-tarnished, fragmented, and in disrepair though they may be-and have attempted to put them together into a meaningful system...Reading between the lines, matching intention to actuality, I have attempted to grasp the totality, the holism of wabi-sabi, and make some sense of it. " 27 pages of full-page b/w photos.
This is a vague art to describe and I don't think that the author enlightened me much about Wabi-Sabi
Apr 2, 2009
I think this is great introduction into wabi-sabi - it provides with emotional feeling rather than facts, and even the book as an object has this emotional tone of wabi-sabi - the paper texture, format, design. Great! Definately after reading this book one who is able to catch wabi-sabi will gain an urge to learn more!
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