Monday, July 31, 2017

Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence by Andrew Juniper

There is probably no Japanese concept more mentioned and less understood than wabi sabi.

It seems that any exploration of Japanese aesthetics has the term thrown around — sometimes correctly, and other times wildly inaccurately. It’s often imperfectly defined as the Japanese art of imperfection. But it is so much more.
Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence by Andrew Juniper serves up some clarity with its interesting examination of what is an extremely challenging philosophical and artistic approach. The book moves towards understanding by exploring the history, culture, art, design and the spirit of the concept and the art.

Don't get me wrong, you're not getting a definitive definition here. The concept of wabi sabi is difficult to define because at its heart is a lack of codified rules, directives, or structures.

Juniper’s book highlights the qualities, ideas, and approaches that make an object or way of life wabi sabi - and as importantly not. It offers a great deal of perspective to help you think about all of the ideas that make up wabi sabi.

Wabi Sabi offers a step towards understanding a difficult to define concept — one that is a challenge to clearly explain inside Japan and outside.

When you’re done, you’ll have a little more understanding of why a Japanese tea cup carries so much more than something to drink in its rough exterior and uneven lines.

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